In March of this year, Beth Moore announced that she could “no longer identify with Southern Baptists,” marking the end of her longtime partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources, the Southern Baptist Convention’s (SBC) publishing and distribution division.
It appears that Moore and her husband have found a new church in a new denomination, but some within the SBC aren’t pleased with where she is calling home.
On Monday, images began circulating on Twitter of Moore at St. Timothy’s Anglican Church in Spring, Texas dressed in a clerical gown, carrying a candle in the recessional, serving the Eucharist, carrying the cup, and receiving the Eucharist during a service this past Sunday. The images are screenshots taken from the church’s service.
In October, Moore shared via Twitter that the Lord led her and her husband Keith to visit a liturgical church in early June. Moore described it as a “small one. One that highly exalts Jesus and sees the scriptures as the church’s final authority in all matters of faith and practice.” Having been in the SBC for many years, she explained how out of place she felt, saying, “I had no idea when to stand or sit or speak or shut up. I held my bulletin, shaking, and kept up best I could.”
“I said that creed and those prayers & hung onto every word of three solid chapters read from the scriptures. All this time I’d believed that only my denomination really loved the Scriptures,” Moore continued. She then shared what it was like to take communion at the small Anglican church, saying, “When it came time for communion, Keith and I shot to that altar like starving people begging for bread. I’ve never needed it so badly in my life.”
According to blogger Elizabeth Prata, Moore’s husband Keith was raised by devout Catholics, so the familiarity of an Anglican worship service made Keith feel at home again. Moore said that Keith “cried like a baby through the whole service,” adding that she couldn’t hold back tears either.
“My lip quivered and the tears pooled in my eyes but I did not break out into sobs until the very end when about six women gathered around me and said, ‘We don’t know why you are here or if you will ever show up here again. We’d just like you to know we want you and welcome you.’ I cried so hard that I never said a word to them. Couldn’t get one out of my mouth,” Moore said.
Moore said that liturgy “has put words in my mouth that have filled me with so much hope again,” and that the church’s focus on the cross and the sacraments has been a “written prescription” for her in her current season of life. Moore explained that she never would have thought that God would use this small church, now revealed as St. Timothy’s Anglican Church, to “sew up [her] torn soul.”
The former SBC member made very clear that she wasn’t speaking “poorly” of where she had been. Rather, she loves her “heritage,” and she has experienced a lot of grief since making the decision to leave the SBC.
“I’m learning to say the Nicene creed. I’m learning how to drop down the kneeling bench,” Moore shared. “For this moment in time, we’re right where God wants us.”
Moore then gave more insight into how her and Keith landed at St. Timothy Anglican Church, saying, “If enormous pain had come to us in this liturgical world, I would have found respite in a world like that of my heritage.” She then encouraged those that have given up on the church completely by saying, “My simple point is, consider a different way of doing the same thing: of worshipping Jesus, of hearing the gospel, of coming under the Scriptures even if just for a while. But don’t give up on church. The communion of saints is essential to the believer’s joy and growth and expression of spiritual gifts.”