A prominent Oklahoma minister and member of the Southern Baptist Convention’s executive committee was charged January 11 with offering to engage in a lewd act.
Lonnie Latham, 60, resigned as pastor of the 1,500-member South Tulsa Baptist Church and as a member of the denomination’s top administrative body two days after he was arrested and jailed January 3. He was alleged to have invited a male undercover Oklahoma City police officer to his hotel room for sex.
The minister was a backer of the SBC’s multifront opposition to homosexuality, including efforts to convince gays to “accept Jesus Christ as their savior and reject their sinful, destructive lifestyle.”
The reports drew expressions of shock and grief from some fellow Southern Baptists, but also prompted an official of the American Civil Liberties Union to express sympathy for the clergyman.