Home Christian News Nondenominational Church Surprised To Hear They Were Ousted From SBC

Nondenominational Church Surprised To Hear They Were Ousted From SBC

new faith mission ministry
Screengrab via WSB-TV

This week, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee assembled in Nashville to carry out the business of the denomination, which included the announcement that five churches had been determined to no longer be “in friendly cooperation” with the SBC and were hereby disfellowshipped.

One of those churches was as surprised as anyone to hear the news.

The biggest name among those disfellowshipped was Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, which has long held the distinction of being the largest church in the SBC. Saddleback was ousted for ordaining women to the role of pastor on its staff, including Stacie Wood, who regularly preaches at the congregation’s weekend services. 

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Three more churches were disfellowshipped for the same reason, including New Faith Mission Ministry in Griffin, Georgia. While not the largest or most well known church on the list of those who were kicked out of the denomination on Tuesday, their case was unique in that they were never a part of the SBC to begin with. 

News that New Faith Mission Ministry had been called out by the SBC came as a shock to pastor Gwennette Watson, who told WSB-TV, “We are not affiliated with any organization. Been self-sufficient since 1999.”

Watson, who co-founded New Faith Mission Ministry, pointed out that nowhere in the church’s name or on its website or signage does the church ever claim affiliation with Southern Baptists, or even the Baptist tradition for that matter. 

While Watson pointed out that the SBC’s decision does not affect her congregation, she nevertheless expressed sympathy for the other churches who actually were affiliated with the SBC but are no longer. 

Watson said, “As a woman, it’s very insulting to feel like, you know, you can lead in other areas—we can lead on our jobs, we can lead in our homes, but we can’t lead the church?”

It is unclear how such an error was made. 

Each of the disfellowshipped churches, perhaps with the exception of New Faith Mission Ministry, will have an opportunity to appeal the decision rendered by the Executive Committee at the annual meeting of the SBC, which will be held in New Orleans this June. 

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ChurchLeaders has reached out to the SBC Executive Committee for comment and will update this article in the event of their reply.