A Richmond church that took some risks ordaining an openly gay man is now getting a vote of confidence.
The Richmond Baptist Association just voted to keep Ginter Park Baptist Church in the group, months after the Baptist General Association of Virginia kicked the church out for ordaining Brandon Scott McGuire.
"We have been asked to sever ties and they have severed them for us, there is no continued conversation," says Pastor Mandy England Cole.
Local church leaders with the Richmond Baptist Association voted 176 to 158 to let Ginter Park remain a member with them. Some people say having an openly gay church leader is a courageous step in the right direction.
"We're not paying attention to what others say we should be and what others say we should do," says Cole. "But we're focusing on the Holy Spirit moving in this place and how we are called to serve God."
Baptist churches are self governing, so a congregation can decide who they want to lead without having to answer to anyone else.
"He is indeed called and qualified," said Cole. While the state association sees differently, Pastor Cole says they continue to support McGuire.
"It hasn't stopped us for one minute to gather to worship, to gather to study, gathering in mission," she said. "We very much seek to be a part of community with our fellow Baptist churches regardless of whether we agree or disagree on any theological church."
As a member of these organizations, churches pay dues that help with ministry and missions. Pastor Cole says they do have the support of national Baptist organizations.
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