NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE) -- The Senior Pastors at two of Middle Tennessee’s largest Southern Baptist churches say they’re seeing a greater sensitivity to incidents of sexual harassment within the nation’s largest protestant denomination.
The viral #MeToo and #ChurchToo movements against sexual harassment and assault are being felt within the SBC.
Last month a popular church leader lost his post at the head of a SBC seminary following allegations he failed to handle a sexual assault case properly. A well-known Memphis area SBC pastor was recently forced to resign after he admitted to sexually assaulting a member of his church youth group years earlier.
Robby Gallaty is the Senior Pastor at Long Hollow Baptist mega church in Hendersonville. He believes the pain the crisis has caused does have a silver lining.
“As a denomination we’re asking a lot of questions that need to be asked, particularly in regards women, and rights for different people in regards to how we treat people.”
Pastor Brenton Cox at the First Baptist Church in Manchester says he thinks the SBC has gotten the message that incidents of harassment and assault must be handled properly.
“What all of us have seen is just a greater sensitivity to that issue, and to be careful. So I think the policies were there, it’s just to be careful to do exactly what we’ve known to do.”
Nashville based SBC Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission President Russell Moore says that while the #MeToo moment won’t lead to Baptist women being ordained as pastors, it will start a conversation about how “women can have a greater voice in decision making.”