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Executive Committee postpones determination on Texas church status


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) — The Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee unanimously agreed Feb. 17 to continue to study whether the convention should remain affiliated with Broadway Baptist Church, a historic Fort Worth, Texas, congregation that was involved last year in a controversy over whether homosexual couples should be pictured in a church directory.

The Executive Committee began studying the church’s affiliation last year after a messenger at the SBC annual meeting in June made a motion that the convention declare Broadway Baptist not to be “in friendly cooperation” with the denomination.

Article III of the SBC Constitution states that churches “which act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior” are not in friendly cooperation.

The church last February decided in a 294-182 vote to publish a directory without family portraits but with candid shots of members involved in various ministries and activities. Additionally, the pastor who had presided over the controversy – Brett Younger – left the church in June to take a position at McAfee School of Theology after a vote to oust him failed 68-32 percent.

Church members, though, said the desire by some to remove Younger had less to do with the issue of homosexuality and more to do with a host of other issues, including his leadership and his support of a project that allowed homeless people to stay at the church at night.