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Southern Baptists to cut ties with District of Columbia affiliate

Posted: Friday, July 05, 2002

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The home mission board of the Southern Baptist Convention has decided to cut its ties with the District of Columbia Baptist Convention next June 30, a move that includes dropping support of nearly $500,000 a year.

The Southern Baptist board, based in Alpharetta, Ga., said last year the District of Columbia unit was increasingly distant from the denomination's ''positions and priorities.'' District leaders responded that the Southern Baptists were trying to impose ''untenable and inappropriate'' limitations on local Baptists.

District Executive Director Jeffrey Haggray said one issue was that District churches have women clergy. He said the Southern Baptist board was ''choking'' the ''rich diversity and soul freedom'' of local Baptists.

The District of Columbia convention is still aligned with two other denominations, the American Baptist Churches and Progressive National Baptist Convention. It represents 133 congregations.

Haggray said the funding loss puts programs in jeopardy.

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District of Columbia Baptist Convention: http://www.dcbaptist.org



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