Pastor Calls for Banning Female Pastors

In October 2022, Pastor Mike Law of Arlington Baptist Church, Arlington, VA, published a motion to amend the SBC Constitution “to include an enumerated 6th item under Article III, Paragraph 1 concerning ‘Composition,’ to read: ‘Does not affirm, appoint, or employ a woman as a pastor of any kind.’” Pastor Law continues, “Personally, I felt the need to offer this amendment because five Southern Baptist churches, roughly within a five-mile radius of my own congregation, are employing women as pastors of various kinds, including women serving as ‘Sr. Pastor.’” In February 2021, it was reported that five churches approved by the North American Mission Board (NAMB) of the SBC have women pastors (“NAMB Caught with More Women Pastors in Churches,” Capstone Report, Feb. 8, 2021). One of these SBC churches, Echo Church of southern California, lists five women as pastors. In May 2021, Saddleback Church, pastored by Rick Warren, announced on Instagram that it had ordained three female pastors. “Yesterday was a historic night for Saddleback Church in many ways! We ordained our first three women pastors, Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty, and Katie Edwards” (May 7, 2021). Saddleback is the second largest congregation in the Southern Baptist Convention. Petty said in an interview, “This is a new day for women in ministry and I am honored and blessed to help carry the mantle of being a Pastor and have the title as NextGen Ministries pastor at Saddleback Church!” (Al Mohler, “Women Pastors … and the Looming Test,” May 10, 2021). In October 2022, Saddleback’s new pastor, Andy Wood (formerly of Echo Church), announced that his wife, Stacie, is the newest “teaching pastor” at Saddleback (“New Saddleback pastor sees women clergy in church’s future,” Associated Press, Oct. 24, 2022). A 2020 study of the 500 largest SBC churches, found that 10% have female pastors and another 10% or more have female ministers in various roles, such as “Youth Minister,” “Singles Minister,” or “Ministry Director.”

(Friday Church News Notes, November 4, 2022,, 866-295-4143)