Wednesday, June 27, 2007

ABC General Board Honors Pastors Who Thumbed Nose at Transformation Ministries

According to the ABNS, the General Board of the ABCUSA took time in their meetings this week to honor pastors who have elected to "remain American Baptist following the withdrawal of the Pacific Southwest region." Those honored for "standing firmly in solidarity with the family" or "thumbing their noses at the former PSW" (depending upon your perspective) will be participating in forming a new region in the southwest, tentatively known as American Baptist Congregations of the Southwest and Hawaii.

"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.

1 comment:

Amill-Presup said...

God bless those ministers for staying... for not leaving the ABC in their part of the country to become a "spiritual Netherlands." BTW, your description of how the "Transformation Ministries" annual meeting was like "a sigh of relief" couldn't be more fitting for this ABC biennial that just ended. Having finally lost some of the most contentious, least Baptistic among us was like removing an infected limb before the infection could spread. It was painful and it will be difficult to adjust. But we're already moving ahead.