Last month, four churches belonging to the American Baptist Churches USA were expelled for their open support and liberal stance on homosexuality. This month, the churches were notified that regional subunits had objected to their expulsion at a meeting of the General Board in Des Moines.
Due to the protests on behalf of the churches, the process of their expulsion has been halted. A process of “adjudication,” which is rarely used by the Church, begins to re-examine this issue.
A decision by a committee of executives on the denominational staff will determine the final status of the four churches. This liberal move comes as a surprise because American Baptist Churches tend to be conservative.
Rev. Esther Hargis, a pastor of one of the churches, commented that this was “a historic vote” and that “you don’t throw churches out on theological grounds.”