American Baptists face breakup threats

Homosexuality debate could shatter fragile unity
In an appeal to American Baptists last November, the denomination’s top official said he suffered “many sleepless nights” worrying whether controversies over homosexuality would shatter the fragile unity of the denomination. “I agonize over the fact that many feel a split is inevitable,” wrote A. Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.

“As feelings rise to a fever-pitch, I worry because I see a tendency to shift from discernment to power moves,” said Medley in urging American Baptists instead to be “bridge people in a world of wall builders.”

Medley’s outlook has not changed during this month’s run-up to the biennial meeting of the ABCUSA in Denver July 1-4, according to Richard Schramm, deputy general secretary and director of communications. Medley declined to be interviewed due to a heavy schedule at American Baptist headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.


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