Dallas Baptist Church Ousted over Gay Deacons

The Baptist General Convention of Texas voted this week to distance itself from a North Dallas congregation over its acceptance of gay deacons.

The vote on Tuesday against Royal Lane Baptist Church was in keeping with the convention's stance that homosexual behavior is sinful.

"This situation has been painful, but it has not been difficult for me," Texas Baptists Executive Director Randel Everett said to the executive board.

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The board agreed to no longer accept funds from Royal Lane and to return all funds received from the church since Jan. 1. Also, the congregation was asked to stop identifying itself with the BGCT.

Convention leaders met after a Dallas Morning News article revealed in March that Royal Lane was "coming out of the closet" and ordaining practicing homosexuals.

Though board members said they respect the Dallas church, they stressed the need to take a stand especially when it comes to ordination.

"I think where we need to draw the line is when they are elected to a leadership position," said Leonardo Diaz, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista in Hitchcock, according to the BGCT.

Royal Lane Baptist Church describes itself as "an inclusive, multi-generational congregation" and "a vibrant mosaic of varied racial identities, ethnicities, sexual orientations, and denominational backgrounds."

The congregation affirms "the sacredness, dignity, and equality of every man, woman, and child and honor each individual's freedom to worship God and to respond to his or her unique call to ministry and service."

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