A Cooperative Baptist Fellowship pastor in Texas announced Sunday he is resigning his pulpit because he and his wife are going through a divorce.
Brent Beasley, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, said during his Sunday morning sermon Feb. 28 that while he does not believe that divorce automatically disqualifies a person from the ministry, he cannot effectively lead the congregation at this time.
“This church needs a full-time pastor, and I’ve come to realize that I can’t do that right now,” Beasley said.
“Divorce is complex and hard even in the best of circumstances,” he said. “I don’t want what I’m going through to compromise my ability to be the kind of pastor that you need. This church needs and deserved a pastor that is able to give fully of himself, or herself, to leading this church.”
Beasley said he would like to continue preaching at least through Easter, and perhaps a week or two after that. He said he plans to remain in Fort Worth but does not know what lies ahead vocationally.
Beasley, a member of the CBF Governing Board, came to Broadway in 2009, when the church was making headlines for an internal dispute about whether to include photos of openly gay couples in a new church directory.
The Southern Baptist Convention found the church in violation of a constitutional ban on members that “act to affirm, approve or endorse homosexual behavior” and removed it from membership rolls. Broadway Baptist voluntarily left the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 2010, saying the congregation did not desire to be distracted by denominational politics.
Beasley said the congregation has been nothing but supportive as the family struggled over the course of the past year.
“If you think about it, in years past there have been plenty of news media accounts about conflicts here at Broadway that have centered around the pastor,” Beasley said. “In this case I wish a reporter would write a story about how well the church has treated its pastor — for almost seven years, and especially now.”
Beasley said numerous church members told him even if the marriage could not be saved they wanted him to remain as pastor.
“I don’t believe in theory that going through my divorce automatically means that I have to resign, and I know most of you don’t believe that,” he said. “Certainly no one has asked me to resign.”
“I don’t believe that divorce disqualifies anyone from service in the church, and I hope you hear me saying that,” Beasley said. “In theory that’s right, but for me, living this out day-to-day in real life has convinced me that staying is not the right thing for me to do.”