Four other congregations with female pastors were also determined to be not in “friendly cooperation” with the SBC, as well as one removed over its abuse response.

One of the country’s biggest and best-known megachurches, Saddleback Church, is no longer a part of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) after bringing on a female teaching pastor last year.

Saddleback was among five churches with female pastors who were deemed “no longer in friendly cooperation” with the denomination at a meeting of the SBC Executive Committee in Nashville on Tuesday.

The Lake Forest, California, congregation ordained three women from the stage in May 2021, a decision that rattled some Southern Baptists who believe the role of pastor is reserved for men. Then last year, Saddleback selected Andy Wood as Rick Warren’s successor and the church’s lead pastor, and his wife Stacie Wood came on as a teaching pastor.

Warren responded to calls for the SBC to cut ties with his church at the convention’s June 2022 annual meeting, held in Anaheim, California. “Are we going to keep bickering over secondary issues,” he said, “or are we going to keep the main thing the main thing?”

At the time, the credentials committee—the group tasked with recommending whether to disfellowship a particular church—hadn’t come to a decision on Saddleback, saying it wasn’t clear if the SBC’s statement of faith restricted women from any position doing pastoral work or with a pastoral title, or if it just applied to the senior pastor.

“I could talk to you all about what I believe about the gift of pastorate as opposed to the office of pastorate, but I’m not here to talk about that,” Warren remarked, spending most of his time at the mic reflecting on his decades-long history with the SBC.

This week, the committee …

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