ATLANTA (ABP) – Two churches disciplined by Baptist bodies for affirming gays have joined the Alliance of Baptists, a theologically progressive organization formed by churches and individuals separating from the Southern Baptist Convention in 1987.
The Alliance’s e-mail newsletter announced Jan. 10 the addition of Journey Fellowship in Owensboro, Ky., and Royal Lane Baptist Church in Dallas. The new congregations increase the total of member churches to 124.
Journey Fellowship was kicked out of Daviess-McLean Baptist Association in August for allowing a chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays to meet monthly on church property. Associational leaders said by accommodating the group, the church plant formerly known as Seven Hills Baptist Church implied endorsement of views contrary to what Southern Baptists believe.
Leaders of the Baptist General Convention of Texas voted in May 2010 to no longer accept funds from Royal Lane Baptist Church after a Dallas Morning News article described the congregation as “coming out of the closet” and appointing deacons who were openly gay.
“On behalf of our congregation at Royal Lane, let me say how pleased we are to be officially affiliated with the Alliance of Baptists,” wrote Pastor David Matthews. “Some of us have admired the work of the Alliance since its inception, and we already feel at home with you. We hope to be a good addition to your family, and will hope to make a significant contribution.”
The newsletter item welcomed both congregations “who relentlessly respond to the continuing call of God in a rapidly changing world.”