HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (TAB, al.com) — In a 74–5 vote, Madison Baptist Association (MBA) churches withdrew fellowship with Weatherly Heights Baptist Church, Huntsville, on March 16 for its position on same-sex “marriage.” Weatherly Heights Baptist Pastor David Freeman has repeatedly expressed his support of “adult, loving, monogamous same-sex relationships,” a viewpoint that has “caused a lot of tension” in the church.
Freeman said, “[Same-sex “marriage”] is not an essential of the faith; therefore it does not have to damage relationships. I have people in my congregation who disagree on this issue and still love and respect each other. Each person is encouraged to open his or her mind, open his or her Bible, and then, before Almighty God, wrestle with the issue and the text. We do not all arrive at the same conclusion, but we do respect the others’ honest struggle with God.”
After two separate meetings with Freeman and representatives of the congregation —which includes Ellin Jimmerson, who performed Huntsville’s first same-sex “marriage” Feb. 9 — MBA’s associational officers recommended a withdrawal of fellowship from Weatherly Heights.
Following the March 16 meeting MBA Director of Missions Charlie Howell said in a written statement to al.com, “It is truly a sad evening for Southern Baptists and [MBA]. … But our executive board … has deemed it necessary that we remain true to the biblical definition of marriage in belief and practice. The culture in which we live may change, but we must stand firm upon the Word of God which remains constant.”
See the full story in the March 26 issue of The Alabama Baptist.