Tennessee Baptist church that hired female pastor can’t vote

HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – The Tennessee Baptist Convention is not allowing representatives from a church with a female pastor to vote at its annual meeting.

Media report the convention decided not to seat the representatives from First Baptist Church of Jefferson City on Tuesday at its meeting in Hendersonville.

Officials with the Tennessee Baptist Convention affirmed a committee’s determination that the Jefferson City church is no longer a “cooperating church” because it hired the Rev. Ellen Di Giosia as its senior pastor.

Di Giosia says the decision wasn’t surprising, but it was disappointing because “cooperation is a hallmark of Baptist life.”

Southern Baptists churches believe that the office of pastor is limited to men, but each church is autonomous and can make its own decisions.

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