Association studies gay ordination

Richmond Baptist Association has appointed a task force to study the September ordination of an openly gay man by Ginter Park Baptist Church.

By Robert Dilday

A Virginia Baptist church recently asked to withdraw from its state convention after ordaining an openly gay man to the ministry is now under investigation by its local association.

Richmond Baptist Association appointed a task force Oct. 18 to study the Sept. 16 ordination by Ginter Park Baptist Church of Brandon Scott McGuire, a church member who reportedly feels called to minister to persons with disabilities and special needs and to their families.

The task force is scheduled to report no later than the association’s spring meeting April 25, but a special meeting could be called if leaders desire to act sooner.

The Virginia Baptist Mission Board’s executive committee on Oct. 10 asked the church to withdraw its membership in the Baptist General Association of Virginia by Dec. 31. If Ginter Park declines to withdraw by that date, the BGAV will no longer accept its financial contributions — action that would essentially end the church’s 96-year affiliation with the state association.

The church’s membership in the RBA is not dependent on its relationship to the BGAV. The Richmond Baptist Association is a network of 69 congregations in Richmond and three suburban counties. It was organized in 1951 -- coincidentally in the sanctuary of Ginter Park church, which is one of its founding members.

Previous story:

Va. church under fire for gay ordination