Saddleback Church Stands by Female Pastors amid Disfellowship from SBC

Amanda Casanova | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Updated: Mar 08, 2023
Saddleback Church Stands by Female Pastors amid Disfellowship from SBC

Saddleback Church Stands by Female Pastors amid Disfellowship from SBC

Stacie Wood, a teaching pastor at Saddleback Church and the wife of lead pastor Andy Wood, says she will continue to serve in her role despite the Southern Baptist Convention’s recent decision to remove Saddleback Church from the SBC.

Saddleback Church leaders have not said if they will appeal the decision, but Wood said she would continue to serve.

“I’m serving Jesus under the authority and in alignment with my spiritual leaders,” Wood wrote in a statement, Religion News Service reports. “We believe that women can be gifted and empowered as teachers and as pastors.”

The SBC's statement of faith says that women should not serve as pastors, but it cannot direct churches within the SBC. Instead, the SBC can deem churches “not in friendly cooperation with the Convention,” which is the decree that has been given to Saddleback Church.

In February, the convention’s executive committee voted to remove the church from the SBC, saying that Wood “function(s) in the office of pastor.

In total, five congregations were voted to be “not in friendly cooperation.”

The Louisville, Kentucky church ousted in the vote has already said they will appeal.

“We feel like the average Southern Baptist would have no problem with this,” said Rev. Linda Barnes Popham, the Kentucky church’s pastor. “The other reason is to be a change agent for women in the Southern Baptist Convention — for all those young girls, for all those young people God is calling into ministry.”

Meanwhile, Wood’s husband, Andy Wood, said he would be releasing a belief statement from the church about women serving in pastoral roles.

“God intends for both men and women to exercise their spiritual gifts of shepherding and teaching the church,” he said in an email to the congregation.

“Though we are disappointed by their decision, we are not offended. We love and have valued our relationship with the SBC and its faithful churches. We will engage and respond through the proper channels at the appropriate time.”

Related:

Southern Baptist Convention Disfellowships Saddleback Church over Female Pastor

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Gorodenkoff


Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.



Saddleback Church Stands by Female Pastors amid Disfellowship from SBC