"The honoring of pastors and congregations in the new group marked the denomination’s effort to encourage congregations that chose to remain American Baptist following the withdrawal of the Pacific Southwest region a few months ago. Pastors honored with their congregations were Dr. Alonso A. Cooper, University Avenue Baptist Church, San Diego; the Rev. Stanley A. Crews, Monte Vista Baptist Church, Phoenix, Ariz.; Dr. Joseph H. DeRoulhac, First Baptist Church, Redlands, Calif.; Dr. William E. Godwin, University Baptist Church, Palm Desert, Calif.; the Rev. José T. Guerra and the Rev. Chuck Shawver, Living Hope Baptist Church, Bakersfield, Calif.; the Rev. W. James Kilinsky, One in Christ Church, National City, Calif.; and Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr., First Institutional Baptist Church, Phoenix" (ABNS, June 25, 2007).
Some of these pastors are dear friends of mine, others represent respected colleagues of longstanding tenure. People of good will and conviction will reach different conclusions on controversial subjects. However, as a lifelong American Baptist, my conscience allowed no other course than to go with my region, Transformation Ministries (formerly known as the ABCPSW), against the VF establishment.
We will let the judgment in the eschaton sort out which side did the right thing.