The number of forced terminations of pastors and church staff in Southern Baptist congregations has dropped. For 2006, the last year tabulated, 680 full-time and “bivocational” pastors were forced from their positions, in addition to 265 staff members.
Test of whether Southern Baptist–related colleges can be independently run
Dec 11, 2007
In the latest test of whether Southern Baptist–related colleges can be independently run, Tennessee state Baptists have reached an agreement to drop their lawsuit to regain control of the 4,800-student Belmont University in Nashville.
In 1958, during a trifaith “Religious Emphasis Week” at the University of Arkansas, I hung out at the Sigma Nu house. One morning some Baptist Sigma Nu brothers were walking with me as I went by the Lutheran campus chapel. I stopped. “You want to go in there?” they asked. Yes, I wanted to see a majestic figure of Christ on the cross sculpted by Harriet Youngman Reinhardt.
The 2,700-member First Baptist Church of Decatur, Georgia, has become the largest church associated with the Southern Baptist Convention or the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship to hire a woman as senior pastor.
A survey sample of senior pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention found that exactly half of them say speaking in tongues is a spiritual gift given to some believers today— whether those utterances occur in public worship or are “private prayer languages,” a term used in an escalating dispute within the denomination.
Five years after the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted within the Catholic Church, Southern Baptists are confronting their own allegations of abuse and calls for greater steps to protect minors from predatory pastors.