B Christian George
The Southern Baptist Convention, has voted to reject a female pastor in its second largest congregation, Saddleback Church.
The church which was founded by a renowned pastor and best-selling author, Rick Warren, on Tuesday, frowned at having a woman pastor as it is alien to Protestant denomination.
According to USnews, the committee cited Saddleback’s having “a female teaching pastor functioning in the office of pastor,” an allusion to Stacie Wood, wife of the current lead pastor of Saddleback, Andy Wood.
The issue started in 2021 when the founder ordained three women as pastors, prompting discussions within the denomination about possibly expelling the megachurch.
In June 2022 at the Southern Baptists’ annual convention in Anaheim, he affirmed standing by his ordination of women.
He queried the delegates who debated the issue, “we have to decide if we will treat each other as allies or adversaries.”
Warren was said to have retired last year after 42 years at Saddleback.
The executive committee agreed that Saddleback “has a faith and practice that does not closely identify with the Convention’s adopted statement of faith, as demonstrated by the church having a female teaching pastor functioning in the office of pastor,” while Southern Baptists’ statement of faith officially opposes women as pastors, each congregation is self-governing, so the main enforcement mechanism is to oust it from membership.