The presence of women pastors has caused the Southern Baptist Convention to kick out its second-largest congregation.
The California-based Saddleback Church, started by celebrity pastor Rick Warren with media coverage on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), has boasted about its equality in promoting women pastors, especially since 2021 when Warren ordained three pastors. Warren was behind the decision even as he resigned last year.
Despite the church's popularity and presence to millions on TBN, the Southern Baptist Convention has held firm on its position with the convention's Executive Committee voting to approve the ousting.
In its ruling, the Southern Baptist Convention stated that Saddleback, "has a faith and practice that does not closely identify with the Convention's adopted statement of faith, as demonstrated by the church having a female teaching pastor functioning in the office of pastor."
IN OTHER NEWS: Trump supporters tease 'Plan C' to 'reinstate' him to office after Supreme Court denies them again
Perhaps the highest profile female pastor was the wife of lead pastor Andy Wood, also well known in the church community and via church media outlets. Wood has defended his wife in spite of the open criticism from the Southern Baptist Convention.
"The church should be a place where both men and women can exercise those spiritual gifts," Wood said. "My wife has the spiritual gift of teaching and she is really good. People often tell me she's better than me when it comes to preaching, and I'm really glad to hear that."
The Southern Baptist Convention also kicked out five other churches on Tuesday, four additional churches for having women pastors and one for sexual abuse.