RALEIGH, N.C. (ABP) — The attorney general of North Carolina has told a Baptist pastor that his complaint against the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina appears to be a private matter.
Gene Scarborough, pastor of North Rocky Mount Baptist Church, filed the complaint Feb. 9 with the Attorney General's consumer protection division after the state convention ousted McGill Baptist Church of Concord from convention membership because the church baptized two men believed to be gay.
Scarborough said the action violated the state convention's constitution, which says it will not exercise authority over any other Baptist body. He asked the attorney general to render an opinion as to whether the convention's use of a subsidiary financial policy to exclude McGill violated its constitution.
After reviewing the convention's response, a specialist in the consumer protection division said, “it appears that this is a private legal matter.” In a letter dated March 31, Barbara Fillion told Scarborough, “You may wish to consult a private attorney if you desire to pursue this matter further.”
Scarborough said he doesn't have the money to take such action but he may take the matter to the convention's constitution and bylaws committee.
The convention argued Scarborough's complaint was not valid because the convention is “an unincorporated religious society.”