S.C. church's stance on homosexuality challenged

By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press:

First Baptist voted in May to adopt a "consensus statement" declaring, "In all facets of the life and ministry of our church, including but not limited to membership, baptism, ordination, marriage, teaching and committee/organizational leadership, First Baptist Greenville will not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity."

GREENVILLE, S.C. (BP) -- The South Carolina Baptist Convention has asked a Greenville church to either reverse its decision to open marriage ceremonies, church membership and ordination to homosexuals or withdraw from the state convention.

First Baptist Church, whose pastor in 1845 was elected the Southern Baptist Convention's first president, voted to cease cooperation with the SBC in 1999, according to the church's website. But South Carolina's Baptist Courier newsjournal reported First Baptist still cooperates with the state convention but not with the local Greenville Baptist Association. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is listed among the church's "affiliations" on its website.

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