For several months, our congregation engaged in a discussion about how to address a major denominational issue regarding the Kentucky Baptist Convention. On September 30, SMBC’s members voted to accept our Denominational Relations Committee’s recommendation on this matter:
St. Matthews Baptist Church should maintain our existing denominational relationships (Currently being the Southern Baptist Convention, Kentucky Baptist Convention, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship—Kentucky, Louisville Regional Baptist Association, General Association of Baptists, and Central District Baptist Association) unless and until a denominational partner chooses to disaffiliate with us.
Following that meeting, we communicated our decision to KBC leadership along with a plea for the Credentials Committee to reconsider breaking fellowship with churches like ours that are dually aligned with KBC and CBF. Our hope was they would honor the treasured Baptist principle of local church autonomy.
Today, Messengers to the KBC’s annual meeting approved a motion to disaffiliate with churches that provide financial or other assistance to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.
Nine Messengers from SMBC attended the Annual Meeting and voted in opposition to the motion. In consultation with our Denominational Relations Committee, I was prepared to speak in opposition to the motion, and was first in line to do so, however the discussion was cut off before I was recognized and my motion to extend the debate so more Messengers could be heard was defeated.
According to its published media account after the vote, the Kentucky Baptist Convention stated that dually-aligned churches would have up to a year to decide whether to withdraw financial support from CBF. However, we have already sent the KBC written notice of our congregation’s September 30 decision.
In anticipation of media inquiries, and in consultation with SMBC’s Denominational Relations Chair, we prepared the attached statement explaining SMBC’s position.
I welcome any questions you may have.