Word of the Week


This blog post is a little late coming, but I wanted to add my voice of congratulations to a sister church of ours in Annapolis, MD for calling a new pastor.

Any Baptist church that successfully navigates through its transition and pastor search process is to be congratulated, as it is no easy task. For in Baptist churches, self-governance kicks into high gear when the pastor leaves. Churches (particularly those in the free church system) are volunteer organizations after all. It takes a long time to get people on the same page, think clearly about the future and to find the right fit for both the church and the new pastor. It can be a difficult and LONG process!

But, in the case of Broadneck Baptist Church, I am sending my special congratulations because it recently hired one of my dear friends and seminary roommate, Rev. Abby Thornton. She began her service with the congregation on June 12.

Broadneck Baptist is a courageous congregation of folks who are seeking to do church grounded in practices of community, justice for the forgotten, and participatory worship.

Not that I am biased or anything, but they could have found no better pastor in Abby.

She is trained and grounded in solid theological scholarship, has a quick pastoral mind, and a willing heart to give a congregation what they most need in a pastor. She is a gifted preacher and a thoughtful leader. I know no other person who will work as hard or as faithfully as Abby will in building God's church in Annapolis.

It is a great day in Baptist life when church call pastors based on calling, abilities, and passion for the church instead of gender, marriage status or "the way things have always been." (Pastors are white men with 2.5 beautiful children). Praise should be given to Broadneck for making such a courageous and wise choice.

I look forward to having my colleague, Abby in the large DC metro area and dreaming with her about ways our congregations can partner in ministry in mission. Welcome to the DC Baptist Convention family; it's great to have you in town!