At the Southern Baptist Convention's Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, messengers voted to affirm an earlier decision to disfellowship churches that allow women to serve in the office of pastor.
Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, and a smaller congregation known as Fern Creek Baptist Church of Louisville, Kentucky, were disfellowshipped for having women in the office of pastor. Messengers overwhelmingly approved both votes.
During the appeals process, Saddleback's founder, Rick Warren, argued that the SBC should consider the issue of female pastors to be a nonessential matter, comparing it to the Convention’s acceptance of member churches that embrace Calvinism.
Al Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, warned that Saddleback was threatening the unity of the SBC and that the issue of women pastors was not nonessential.
"It's not just a matter of church polity; it's not just a matter of hermeneutics," Mohler stated during the appeals session. "It's a matter of biblical commitment, a commitment to the Scripture that unequivocally we believe limits the office of pastor to men."
"Here we face the unusual situation in which Dr. Warren himself has made repeated statements, and the church has taken repeated actions that make very clear it rejects the confessional understanding of the Southern Baptist Convention on this issue."
Although the SBC has opposed having women serve in the office of pastor, other theologically conservative denominations have embraced the idea, including one earlier this month.
Here are five examples of theologically conservative Christian denominations that allow women to become pastors.