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Baptist convention ejects church with lesbian pastor

Posted: Friday, June 13, 2003

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) The Tennessee Baptist Convention has severed ties with a Baptist church that appointed a lesbian pastor.

Laurann Whetham, president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, said Glendale Baptist Church went too far by placing a homosexual in a leadership position. Associate pastor April Baker, who told church leaders she was a lesbian, is the only full-time ministerial staffer at Glendale, which has about 200 members.

The Baptist Convention voted May 30 to eject the church from the association. Glendale officials said they accepted the decision. But Glendale spokesman Stewart Clifton said the church will still consider itself Baptist, and continue to support Baker.

''She's doing a great job,'' he said. ''She has total confidence in the church.''

The Southern Baptist Convention has severed ties with more than 10 other congregations since 1988 over the issue of homosexuality, which the denomination considers a sin.

Southern Baptist Convention: http://www.sbc.net/



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