Update: Myers Park Baptist ousted from N.C. Convention


Meeting in Greensboro, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina has voted overwhelmingly to oust Charlotte’s Myers Park Baptist Church over that church’s public stand for the dignity and respect of LGBT Baptists.

Myers Park is the first church to be booted under a policy attacking gay-friendly Baptists passed by the Convention in 2006.

From the Charlotte Observer:

Delegates to the annual meeting of the N.C. Baptist State Convention voted overwhelmingly this morning to expel Charlotte’s Myers Park Baptist for welcoming gays and lesbians without trying to change them.

The liberal church of 1,970 members became the first to be kicked out under rules passed at last year’s meeting that said any Baptist church that affirmed or endorsed homosexual behavior would be considered “not in friendly cooperation with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.”

The vote by the nearly 3,000 delegates, or “messengers,” came after two leaders of Myers Park Baptist called on them to open their hearts to homosexuals who want to worship with them and to respect local Baptist churches’ autonomy in interpreting the Bible.

“Jesus welcomed those considered outcasts and sinners by his culture and religion,” the Rev. Stephen Shoemaker, senior minister at Meyers Park Baptist, said from the podium at Greensboro Coliseum. “We hope we live in his spirit.”

Today is a day when all honest, truth-seeking Baptists should take a pause. Remember 40 years from now that this day is just one of many days when the Baptist faith was yet again destroyed just a tad bit more.

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Comments
15 Responses to “Update: Myers Park Baptist ousted from N.C. Convention”
  1. The North Carolina Baptists would vote Jesus out if He showed up today.

    Isn’t it strange? Jesus came to preach deliverance to the captives. He ministered to those no one else cared about. A Baptist Church emulates the ministry of Jesus in North Carolina and they’re voted out.

    God bless the wonderful pastors and congregation of this church. Thank you for having a heart for ministry.

    I wish every pastor/messenger who voted to expel this church would read my book. It time you folks got a clue!

    Rick Brentlinger
    http://www.gaychristian101.com

    • Joe says:

      Hogwash Rick.

      Jesus loved the prostitute Mary M. He did not say, come follow me ….and be a prostitute. He told her to turn from those sinful ways, repent, have faith in him, and follow him.

      So the question on the Table, Is homosexuality a sin? Read the Bible and believe what it says.

  2. KAREN says:

    I AM HAPPY THE CONVENTION STOOD THEIR GROUND. JUST LIKE GOD DOES TO EVERYONE! GAY/NOT GAY. GOD IS GOD!

  3. Matt says:

    Karen, you are either not a Baptist or, like the majority of the prejudice and hate-blinded convention members, woefully ignorant when it comes to the faith in which you purport to profess.

    The Baptist faith is grounded in soul freedom, soul competence and local church autonomy. The actions of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina fly in the face of what it means to be a Baptist and what it means to be in fellowship – Christian brother and sisterhood – within the Baptist faith.

    Baptists don’t play God. Traditionally we never did, precisely because Baptists know – from experience – that when we try to do that, we always screw things up (case in point: The BSCNC.

    • JSmith says:

      It is you that is trying to destroy the Baptist faith. Whether homosexuality is a sin is not up for debate or interpretation it is plainly spelled out in the scriptures. The first century Church had similar issues and Paul addresses it many times. If you want to be gay, ok but don’t expect the Church to condone it or pat you on the back for it.

  4. Adam Kautz says:

    The SBC will one day regret the way their forebearers treated us lgbts, but I wonder if then their sentiment will be too little too late. A recent poll that shows the conservative church is destroying its relationship with the emerging generation should be a wake up call, but from what I read at conservative sites is sheer contempt, and pride. It seems even in the face of hard evidence that the current course will ultimately lead to the Christian faith’s demise in America. The very least that conservative christianity could do is back off fighting human equality, if not because its the right thing to do than at least to save the church from total destruction. Heck I don’t ever expect the conservative churches to ever accept us or love us, because I know it would be fake just like the mormon church claiming to give black people the priesthood, never mind the fact that out of all the church leadership their is only one minority and he’s asian. The best that a black man hope for is to become stake president. And that is after 30 years since blacks were given the priesthood.

  5. Bill Miller says:

    For interested persons, I am a gay member who has attended Meyers Park Baptist Church for more than 3 years. It has been a haven for me.

    Our senior pastor, Steve sent some of us this letter yesterday:

    ===

    Dear Congregation,

    We are in the midst of a very powerful and very public time of public witness. The deacons and I had no anticipation of the magnitude of the story to the larger world.

    The staff and I have arranged for an Adult Forum this Sunday, November 18 at 9:45 am in Heaton Hall to bring you up-to-date on all that has happened this week and to discuss all relevant issues. Sheila Ennis is contacting all Sunday School classes with this announcement.

    As you have gathered, the media interest in this matter has been intense. I plan to be on CNN tomorrow, Thursday (Nov 15), at the 5:00 pm slot. I think prayers are in order that the right kind of public witness can be made by our church: For God’s love for all people and for the Baptist principle of spiritual freedom that honors the freedom of conscience and the freedom of the individual believer and local church to open scripture and interpret it for their life and faith.

    In Christ,

    Steve Shoemaker
    Dr. H. Stephen Shoemaker
    Myers Park Baptist Church
    Mailing Address: P.O. Box 6006
    Church Address: 1931 Selwyn Avenue
    Charlotte, NC 28207-0001
    704-334-7232
    sshoemaker@mpbconline.org

    I for one am so grateful for this church which stands up and is counted.

  6. Brian says:

    I got goosebumps reading that letter. I’m proud of the powerful, positive, and spirit-led stand which your church is taking.

  7. Matt Comer says:

    Thanks Bill for posting the letter. I just started attending Myers Park after my move to Charlotte about a month and a half ago. I also got the letter. I plan on being at church this Sunday, so I’ll be able to make it to the forum.

  8. Bill Miller says:

    Matt, Quick note,
    Not sure if you made it to the adult forum last sunday, but for those interested now, there is full documentation of all the correspondence sent to the State Baptist Convention as well as copies of a multitude of letters supporting the church during this time. Also newly available is the complete audio of the adult forum from last sunday on the church’s newly designed website.
    http://www.mpbconline.org

    On a personal note Matt, I do not know you as I sing in the choir there and do not get to meet as many folks in the congregation as I would sometimes like so if you have a technical way to scarf my email from this submission please feel free to say hello.

    Thanks again for this website, and for what you are doing to speak for so many who have been isoalted by people in their own families and churches.

  9. Matt says:

    Thanks Bill. I’ll try contacting you soon. I have also put up an updated post with links to the audio:
    http://www.interstateq.com/archives/2444/

  10. Rusty says:

    I was a member of the congregation Dr. Shoemaker pastored in Louisville when I was at Southern Seminary (back when they did theological education, not indoctrination). I am not surprised that he and the congregation at Myers Park have taken such a courageous stand. My love and prayers are with you. As I see it you stand firmly in the Spirit of Jesus and the best of Baptist belief.

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  1. […] the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. I blogged about Myers Park’s expulsion and a comment came in from a former student at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville: I was a member of the […]

  2. […] gay church leaders (Sunday School teachers, deacons, pastors, etc.). That decision led to the ouster of Charlotte’s Myers Park Baptist Church (a church I have attended several times since moving to the Queen […]



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