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Advocating for Women in Ministry at the BCGT Annual Meeting

Updated: Jul 27, 2023

Last week during the Monday morning business session at the 2023 Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) Annual Meeting, Dr. Meredith Stone, executive director of Baptist Women in Ministry and a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco made the following motion: “I move that the Baptist General Convention of Texas affirm women in all ministry and pastoral roles, and that the BGCT Executive Board be instructed to have staff create programs, resources and advocacy initiatives to assist churches in affirming, appointing and employing women in ministerial and pastoral roles.” This motion was made with the full support of the TXBWIM board.



Later that day, Dr. Stone was invited to a closed-door meeting where the Committee on the Annual Meeting informed her that they would consider her motion out of order because they believed it would violate Article 1, Section 2 of the BGCT Constitution. That article says the state convention has no “ecclesiastical authority” over member churches, which are “sovereign.” After a fruitless debate with the committee and a lawyer for the BGCT, Dr. Stone revised her motion and presented the following during the Tuesday business session: “I move that the Baptist General Convention of Texas Executive Board be instructed to have staff create programs, resources and initiatives to assist churches in affirming, appointing and employing women in ministerial and pastoral roles.”

During a floor debate following the presentation of her revised motion, I had the opportunity to give my support for this important piece of advocacy for women in ministry in Texas. I spoke in support of the motion after we heard a moving theological reflection of support from Reverend Hannah Coe, senior pastor of Calvary Baptist in Waco. Reverend Brandon Hudson, senior pastor of FBC Abilene, was the last person to speak in support of the motion written by women for women in ministry. Dr. Stone, Rev. Coe and I were the only women who spoke during the debate at all.

After ten minutes of discussion, Dr. Dustin Slaton, senior pastor of FBC Round Rock, proposed an amendment to Dr. Stone's already revised motion which read as follows: “That we request the BGCT Executive Board to resource BGCT staff to continue developing more strategies, resources and advocacy initiatives to assist churches in affirming, appointing and employing women in ministry and leadership roles.” This is the motion that eventually passed.

If you are a supporter of women in ministry, it might be difficult to know how you feel about this motion. When I read the initial motion that Dr. Stone proposed, I was filled with excitement and joy and abundant hope. When I read the motion that eventually passed, I felt let down and disappointed and frustrated. I still do.

BWIM offered a statement in response to the motion that passed. I found it helpful and I hope it will be helpful to you. You can read a full debrief from Dr. Stone here.

“While BWIM is hopeful that the motion will provide measures of support for women ministering and leading in Texas, we are also grieved that the BGCT has communicated that women in pastoral roles of all kinds are not included among the support the BGCT offers. It was also not clear if women in pastoral roles who are targeted by the SBC will be supported by the BGCT.

“BWIM will join with Texas BWIM to continue advocating for the BGCT, as well as all Baptists, to do more to demonstrate full and complete affirmation for women. Women are not a secondary issue and are worthy of knowing that they have a home and value among Baptists.”

Many at the BGCT Convention stopped by our booth and shared that they were supportive of women in ministry. Both women and men had questions. Women had many stories to share. Of their pain. Of their calling. Of their journeys. It was both joyous and heart wrenching to be at the convention.


Revered Jill Hudson



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