Despite the often emotional sessions about sex abuse at the annual meeting and a 2019 investigation by the Houston Chronicle that detailed hundreds of abuse cases in the SBC still haunting them, Southern Baptists may not be on the same page about how to deal with abusers or sex offenders.
The upcoming annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention promises to be a reckoning for the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Data released in May shows that the denomination has lost 2.3 million members since 2006. Despite efforts to beef up evangelism, a drop in membership of 2 percent in 2018-2019 represents the largest single-year decline in more than a century.
The church needs women who are seminary trained. The church needs women teaching in seminaries. The church needs women to minister to the world through academic appointments in secular institutions. The church needs women who serve in these ways, just as it needs women who are missionaries, mothers, teachers, servants, leaders and friends. Women in the church don’t need a room of their own as much as the church needs both women and men in the room.