By Bob Allen
With the anticipated ending of a search for a new pastor, First Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., has postponed a vote scheduled in February about whether to change the congregation’s wedding policy to permit same-sex marriage.
An article in the Nov. 5 church newsletter by deacon leadership updated a discernment process about a previous policy described as “welcoming” but not “affirming” in light of the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling requiring civil recognition of same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Yesterday’s Baptist News Global story about an upcoming vote to elect Julie Pennington-Russell, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Decatur, Ga., as next pastor of FBC Washington included the information, previously reported Nov. 5 by the Washington Blade with a headline “D.C. Baptist church to vote on marriage in February.”
Amos Jones, co-chair of the diaconate and a member of the search committee, contacted BNG with new information that at Pennington-Russell’s request, church leadership decided Sunday not to move forward with the vote and put the process on hold for now.
Another church leader said while it has been used in recent communication, the term “welcoming but not affirming” has never been formally adopted by the church.
The final paragraph has been deleted from yesterday’s story, “Ms. Pennington-Russell goes to Washington.”