Home Christian News Saddleback Church Announces Female Campus Pastor. Will Its Leaders Appeal SBC Removal?

Saddleback Church Announces Female Campus Pastor. Will Its Leaders Appeal SBC Removal?

Saddleback Church
(L) Jason Williams, (M) Andy Wood, (R) Katie Edwards. Screengrab via YouTube / @Saddleback Church

Saddleback Church announced Katie Edwards as Lake Forest’s new campus pastor during its Sunday morning worship service last week (May 7).

Along with the announcement about Edwards, Saddleback Church’s lead pastor, Andy Wood, shared that Lake Forest’s campus pastor and elder, Jason Williams, has transitioned to executive pastor of ministries. Williams was Lake Forest’s campus pastor.

Wood said:

We wanted to find somebody that has the heart for shepherding [and] somebody that has the spiritual gift of leadership. Even ideally, someone that has been on staff for a while that knows our church and our team well, and so it became so clear as we processed and prayed through the right person to step into this role is Katie Edwards.

RELATED: Saddleback Church Kicked out of SBC Over Female Pastors

“I’m thrilled, honored, and grateful that you’re going to step into the role of campus pastor,” Wood told Edwards.

“This weekend we celebrated the start of two new chapters in our church,” Saddleback Lake Forest posted on Instagram. “We welcome our new Campus Pastor, Katie Edwards!”

“She has faithfully served in Student Ministries for the past two decades and we are overjoyed to see her lead us in this new season of our church,” the post continued. “We celebrate this transition as Pastor Jason Williams steps into his new role as Executive Pastor of Ministries. Our church is forever better because of his obedient leadership of our Campus. We 💙 you both immensely.”

The church concluded by asking everyone to join in praying for Edwards and Williams as they “walk into their next steps.”

RELATED: Rick Warren Shares With Russell Moore the Scriptures That Convinced Him Women Pastors Are Biblical

Edwards, who is transitioning from her role as Lake Forest’s student ministries pastor, was one of three females Saddleback Church ordained as pastors in May 2021. The decision created controversy among those in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the denomination Saddleback Church has been a member of since it was founded by Rick Warren in 1980.

At the SBC Annual Meeting in June 2021, a request was made by Pastor Shad Tibbs for the SBC to “break fellowship” with Saddleback Church, the largest of the 47,000-plus churches in the denomination, due their ordination of female pastors.