On Affirming the Dignity of Women and the Holiness of Ministers: A Resolution Submitted to the 2018 SBC Committee on Resolutions

In recent days I submitted to the Southern Baptist Convention’s Resolutions Committee a resolution entitled On Affirming the Dignity of Women and the Holiness of Ministers.

Though I am responsible for the resolution and its submission, in order to speak as loudly as possible, I invited my fellow SBC entity heads to participate, as well as SBC president Dr. Steve Gaines. In order to heighten awareness going into Dallas, I elected to make it public now.

Dr. Paul Chitwood, executive-director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, reached out to all of the SBC state executives. Dr. Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, reached out to past presidents of the Southern Baptist Convention as well as the conference of Mega Metro pastors. I am also grateful both of this year’s candidates for the SBC presidency, Ken Hemphill and J.D. Greear, have also signed on.

Readers should view these names not as formal co-submitters of this resolution, but as people who resonate with it and desire to express their convictions accordingly. I’m gratified so many have signed on as I believe it’s a powerful statement of conviction to the world and to our convention, and of remorse and accountability to God and man.  Moreover, as it is a call to protect, support,  and honor women, I directed my wording and the initial invitation list towards men.

Below you will see names from these different groups listed as well as many other additional names. Frankly, since word began to spread of the resolution and the groundswell of support behind it, I’ve been inundated with people requesting to add their names. The resolution is not a petition and, though this did not begin as a “sign up” effort, my inbox is too full of requests to not make it available to all who share and desire to express these convictions. All who would like to add their name and express convictional and covenantal solidarity with the resolution may do so by clicking on the button at the end of this article.

However, before you sign it know this resolution is intended to be more than a statement of public witness. It is a statement of public accountability. Before God, we are first and foremost covenanting with ourselves anew to be people of integrity, to honor, protect, and to serve women, and to guard our hearts, minds, and marriages in Christ Jesus. If we do not have the courage of our convictions to speak with clarity on these issues, we have no credibility to speak to our culture on other issues.

I understand (from those outside the Resolutions Committee) that other resolutions on abuse and the treatment of women have been submitted. The Resolutions Committee may take up my resolution, other resolutions, draft their own resolution, or choose to go an altogether different route. I have full confidence in that group and am supportive of how they choose to proceed. Annually, the Resolutions Committee has a difficult job without others, including me, complicating it all the more.

This is not Difficult

Yet, as for me I want to be on record on these issues, as do many, many others. When the gossip, posturing, and drama all fade away, these issues are remarkably simple, at least they ought to be: as ministers, we are called to guard our hearts and protect our people.

As to the treatment of women, this is not difficult. Whether it be our mothers, wives, daughters, sisters in Christ, or an anonymous woman on the street, every woman is created in the image of God. As men, we are called to demonstrate biblical valor and virtue towards women. We are called to serve, honor, and protect them. Most especially, Christian men are to lead, love and sacrifice for their wives just as Christ has done for the church. To act in any other way is to reject biblical teaching as well as common civility and decency.

As to abused women, this is not difficult: we are to protect them from those who would do them harm and to remove them from the place of harm. We can work against our matrimony-shattering “no-fault” divorce culture and shore up marriages. But this needed work never means asking women to suffer abuse. Yes, God through our prayers and the power of the gospel can change even the vilest abuser, but wives aren’t called to endure suffering from his hand in the meantime.

As to the minister’s holiness, this is not difficult: we are charged to guard our life and our doctrine. As Southern Baptists, we have excelled in the latter, but not so much the former. The character qualifications for ministry as outlined in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 are not a onetime threshold to cross. They represent an ongoing accountability to God’s Word and God’s people.

In Conclusion

All this informs the resolution below On Affirming the Dignity of Women and the Holiness of Ministers. May the Lord give the resolutions committee—a group in whom I have full confidence—wisdom as they take up this resolution. But, more importantly, may the words carry import in our lives and in our ministries.  In difficult times, let us move ahead in hope and conviction.



National Entity Heads:

Albert Mohler
President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Louisville, KY

Kevin Ezell
President, North American Mission Board
Alpharetta, GA

Danny Akin
President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forrest, NC

O. S. Hawkins
President, Guidestone Financial Resources
Dallas, TX

Jeff Iorg
President, Gateway Seminary
Ontario, CA

Thom Rainer
President, Lifeway Christian Resources
Nashville, TN

David Platt
President of the International Mission Board
Richmond, VA

Jeffrey Bingham
Interim President, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
Fort Worth, TX

Russell Moore
President of the ERLC
Nashville, TN

Chuck Kelley
President, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary
New Orleans, LA

SBC President:

Steve Gaines
SBC President
Memphis, TN

SBC President Candidates:

J.D. Greear
Pastor, The Summit Church
Raleigh-Durham, NC

Ken Hemphill
Special Assistant to the President for Denominational Relations at North Greenville University
Greer, SC

Former SBC Presidents:

Jim Henry
Former SBC President
Nashville, TN

Johnny Hunt
Former SBC President
Woodstock, GA

Bryant Wright
Johnson Ferry Baptist Church
Marietta, GA

James Merritt
Lead Pastor, Cross Pointe Church
Duluth, GA

Ronnie Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church
Springdale, AR

Jack Graham
Senior Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church
Plano, TX

Bobby Welch
Former SBC President
Ormond Beach, FL

State Executive Directors: 

J. D. “Sonny” Tucker
Executive Director, Arkansas Baptist State Convention
Little Rock, AR

Tim Lubinus
Executive Director, Iowa Baptist Convention
Des Moines, IA

Rick Lance
Executive Director, Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions
Montgomery, AL

Rob Lee
Executive Director-Treasurer, Utah Idaho Baptist Convention
Draper, UT

Brian Autry
Executive Director, Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia
Richmond, VA

Garvon Golden
Executive Director, Dakota Baptist Convention
Rapid City, SD

Kevin White
Executive Director, Nevada Baptist Convention
Reno, NV

David Johnson
Executive Director, Arizona Southern Baptist Convention
Scottsdale, AZ

Tommy Green
Executive Director-Treasurer, Florida Baptist Convention
Jacksonville, FL

Milton A. Hollifield, Jr.
Executive Director-Treasurer, North Carolina Baptist Convention
Cary, NC

Terry M Robertson
Executive Director, The Baptist Convention of New York
Syracuse, NY

Hance Dilbeck
Executive Director, Oklahoma Baptist Convention
Oklahoma City, OK

Paul Chitwood
Executive Director, Kentucky Baptist Convention
Louisville, KY

Nate Adams
Executive Director, Illinois Baptist State Association
Springfield, Illinois

Barry E. Whitworth
Executive Director-Treasurer, Pennsylvania-South Jersey
Harrisburg, PA

Jim Futral
Executive Director-Treasure, Mississippi Baptist Convention
Jackson, MS

Terry W. Dorsett
Executive Director-Treasurer, Baptist Convention on New England
Northborough, MA

Randy C. Davis
President & Executive Director, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board
Franklin, TN

Leo Endel
Executive Director, Minnesota-Wisconsin Baptist Convention
Rochester, MN

Bill Henard,
Executive Director-Treasurer, West Virginia Convention of Southern Baptists
Scott Depot, WV

Tim Patterson
Executive Director, Baptist State Convention of Michigan
Fenton, MI

David Hankins
Executive Director, Louisiana Baptist Convention
Alexandria, LA

J. Robert White
Executive Director-CEO, Georgia Baptist Mission Board
Duluth, GA

Lynn Nikkel
Executive Director, Wyoming Baptist Convention
Casper, WY

Nathan Lorick
Executive Director, Colorado Baptist General Convention
Centennial, CO

Bob Mills
Executive Director, Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists
Topeka, KS

Gary Hollingsworth
Executive Director, South Carolina Baptist Covention
Columbia, SC

Joseph Bunce
Executive Director, Baptist Convention of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM

John L. Yeats
Executive Director, Missouri Baptist Convention
Jefferson City, MO

Jim Richards
Executive Director, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention
Grapevine, TX

Chris Martin
Executive Director-Treasurer, Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention
Honolulu, HI

Randy Covington
Executive Director-Treasurer, Alaska Baptist Convention
Anchorage, AK

Mega-Metro Pastors:

Nick Floyd
Lead Teaching Pastor, Cross Church
Fayetteville, AR

Bruce Frank
Pastor, Biltmore Church
Arden, NC

David W. Fleming,
Senior Pastor, Champion Forest Baptist Church
Houston, TX

Grant Ethridge
Hampton, VA

David H. McKinley
Pastor-Teacher, Warren Baptist Church
Augusta, GA

Randall T. Hahn
Senior Pastor, Colonial Heights Baptist
Colonial Heights, VA

Glynn Stone
Pastor of Mobberly Baptist Church
Longview, TX

Russ Barksdale
Lead Pastor, The Church on Rush Creek
Arlington, TX

Pat Hood
Senior Pastor, LifePoint Church
Smyrna, TN

Rob Zinn
Senior Pastor, Immanuel Baptist Church
Highland, CA

Merle Mees
Lead Pastor, Pleasant Valley Baptist Church
Liberty, MO

Kevin J. Hamm
Senior Pastor, Gardendale First Baptist Church
Gardendale, AL

Brian Stowe
Pastor, First Baptist Church
Plant City, FL

John D. Morgan
Pastor, Sagemont Church
Houston, TX

Don Wilton
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church
Spartanburg, SC

William Rice
Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
Clearwater, FL

Mel Blackaby
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church
Jonesboro, GA

Rob Peters
Senior Pastor, Calvary Baptist Church
Winston-Salem, NC

Michael Catt
Senior Pastor, Sherwood Baptist Church
Albany, GA

Greg Laurie
Senior Pastor, Harvest Christian Fellowship
Riverside, CA

John Meador
Lead Pastor, First Euless
Euless, TX

Gregg Matte
Senior Pastor, Houston First Baptist
Houston, TX

Danny Wood
Senior Pastor, Shades Mountain Baptist Church
Birmingham, AL

Michael Wood
Pastor, First Baptist Church
West Monroe, LA

Bob McCartney
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church
Wichita Falls, TX

Chad McDonald
Senior Pastor, Lenexa Baptist Church
Lenexa, KS

Jordan Easley
Senior Pastor; Englewood Baptist Church
Jackson, TN

Clint Pressley
Senior Pastor, Hickory Grove Baptist Church
Charlotte, NC

Chris Osborne
Pastor, Central Baptist Church
College Station, TX

Bruce Chesser
Pastor, First Baptist Church Hendersonville
Hendersonville, TN

Hayes Wicker
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church
Naples, FL

J. Kie Bowman
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park Baptist Church
Austin, TX

Fred Lowery
Pastor Emeritus, First Baptist Bossier
Bossier City, LA

Curt Dodd
Pastor, Westside Church
Omaha, NE

Mac Brunson
Senior Pastor, Valleydale Church
Birmingham, AL

Gary Smith
Founding Pastor, City of Life Church
Kissimmee, FL

Charles S. Lowery
President, Lowery Institute for Excellence
Frisco, TX

Aaron J. Harvie
Senior Pastor, Highview Baptist Church
Louisville, KY

David Uth
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Orlando
Orlando, FL

Robert Jeffress
Pastor, First Baptist Church of Dallas
Dallas, TX

Mike Hamlet
Pastor, First Baptist North Spartanburg
Spartanburg, SC

Jeff Crook
Pastor, Christ Place Church
Flowery Branch, GA

Eric J. Thomas
Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church
Norfolk, VA

Steve Dighton
Pastor Emeritus, Lenexa Baptist Church
Lenexa, KS

Vance Pittman,
Senior Pastor, Hope Church Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV

Rhys Stenner
Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church
Fayetteville, GA

Robby Gallaty
Pastor, Long Hollow Baptist Church
Hendersonville, TN

Stephen Rummage
Pastor, Bell Shoals Baptist Church
Brandon, FL

Vance Pitman
Senior Pastor, Hope Church
Las Vegas, NV

Danny Forshee
Pastor, Great Hills Baptist Church
Austin, TX

James MacDonald
Senior Pastor, Harvest Bible Chapel
Chicago, IL


Click here to sign the resolution ›


topicsHolinessSBC ResolutionWomen

24 Responses to “On Affirming the Dignity of Women and the Holiness of Ministers: A Resolution Submitted to the 2018 SBC Committee on Resolutions”

May 29, 2018 at 12:24 pm, Brett Butler said:

The leadership and people of Sanctuary Bay fully support this resolution

May 29, 2018 at 12:44 pm, Paul Thompson said:

Dr. Allen, Thank you for the clear language on this matter in our day.

May 29, 2018 at 2:19 pm, Walter Price said:

Thank you, Jason. Well said. Count this as my signing on.

May 29, 2018 at 2:58 pm, Victoria Fuller MDiv said:

Nice start. How about “Follow the example of Jesus, and empower women so gifted to evangelize, teach, lead God’s people, train leaders, preach the good news.”

May 29, 2018 at 3:43 pm, Jaye Martin said:

Amen! Such a blessing to see this in print. Many men have shown great respect for women, but I hope this will be a strong commitment for everyone, even those who need a fresh start.

May 29, 2018 at 4:16 pm, Heath Peloquin said:

I agree with every part. Please see this as me signing on.

May 29, 2018 at 4:54 pm, Jason Hilliard said:

Actually Victoria, I like the statement but felt just the opposite. The last clause needs precise clarity as to the role of Pastor/Elder being Biblically explicitly given to men. If that troubles you, your problem is with the authority of God’s Word.

May 29, 2018 at 5:21 pm, Elizabeth said:

Well. That’s the issue, isn’t it? What is available to women besides pastor and elder? Scripture (1 Cor 11:5) mentions women and public prayer and prophesy. I don’t see any of that Sunday morning. I think the defacto involvement in Sunday morning worship for women has just been singing. We haven’t even madr any room for what’s biblically available.

May 29, 2018 at 8:20 pm, Barbara said:

> Elizabeth, The apostle Paul’s letter to Titus (chapter 2) gives specific instruction as regards the role of women in teaching and ministering to each other, especially as we seek to fulfill our God-given helper roles in home and church, not to mention the need for discipleship that all the women who come into the Kingdom later in life have. There is need to love and serve one another in the church, to bear one another’s burdens, to encourage each other on to good works, toward growth in grace and in the knowledge of Christ Jesus in the day to day. There is a tremendous need for women who know and love the Lord and His people and who understand His Word and can teach it and apply it to women as they seek to be godly wives, mothers, daughters, employees, businesspeople, and fellow image-bearers of Christ. The life of the church is far more than the corporate assembly of the saints for Lord’s Day worship. Please don’t devalue the women and children (the next generation of the Kingdom) by implying that a woman can’t meet her full potential unless she leads men. God in His wisdom is gracious and good. I am thankful beyond words for the cleansing that is taking place so that we all can be better equipped to face the spiritual battles that we face. There is no shortage of need for women to minister to women, under the authority of God-given shepherds, for the glory of Christ’s Kingdom – with love, a PCA sister with an SBC daughter.

May 29, 2018 at 8:45 pm, Ken Ledwell said:

Very well said Dr. Allen.

May 30, 2018 at 4:51 am, Dr. Leigh Byers said:

Thank you for composing this resolution. As a woman, leader of a Christian mental health organization, former staff member of an SBCchurch, I am grateful this has been articulated and grieved it is necessary. This resolution solely levels the ground for a new foundation. Leadership is gender less. Authority is assigned. Followership is offered and not guaranteed. Men are not women’s “heads” solely by virtue of their manhood. Headship is positionally assigned. Father, husband, pastor not brother, co-worker (even if ordained), or guy on the street. Some women are gifted to lead and some men are wise enough to view that as a benefit not a threat. I pray the SBC broadens their thoughts on these topics. The future is in the balance.

May 30, 2018 at 5:57 am, Judy Carter said:

This is wonderful! Count this as my signing in.

May 30, 2018 at 6:39 am, Laura Brown said:

I agree. However, I pray we do not become confused between respecting all women and the role of men that Jesus established. We women have a major role in ministry as teachers, bible study leaders, mentors etc. but men are to be the christian leaders of the family and this is a reflection of Christ as head of the church. Also, I pray that we do not get caught up in the worlds battles as we are not to think as the world. It’s about love and respect – Jesus’ way.

May 30, 2018 at 6:57 am, Jennifer said:

When will the SBC acknowledge that abuse with in their churches stems from the belief the men are superior?

May 30, 2018 at 11:47 am, Tom Sikes said:

Thank you for making a clear resolution in fact and not emotional language. Neither pandering to a feminist agenda, nor continuing to allow for secret and destructive sin amongst the ministry.
I support this fully.

May 31, 2018 at 11:56 am, Davis Zuze said:

Laura Brown ,I salute you.The church today is slowly moving away from the teaching of the bible towards the world’s standard.Revenging and avenging are becoming rife and yet God says it is his to revenge. Resolutions are made on the basis of the world rather than on scripture. God have mercy on us !!!!!

May 31, 2018 at 3:13 pm, Brenda Rick Smith said:

Amazing how carefully this statement is crafted to protect men’s leadership. Again, really clearly making male headship the Most. Important. Thing. Several comments on this thread reflect that. This is the crux of the problem — the huge, overriding fear that male headship will be somehow transgressed if women are heard. Better for women just to suffer quietly than to risk that, right? *sigh*

June 01, 2018 at 12:38 pm, Dr. Kenny Digby said:

Executive Director/Treasurer
Christian Action Commission
MS Baptist Convention

June 01, 2018 at 11:44 pm, Lisa Sams said:

Are the men who signed on as supporters of this resolution, in addition to Dr Allen, intending for this to be their blanket apology and request for forgiveness to all the women who either served on their church staffs or were in former or current congregations and were victims of one component or another of one of the “be it further resolved …” sections? Or is it the intention of this resolution to encourage these men to seek out the women (who may have been young women at the time) who came to them seeking recourse and received only platitudes – and to offer sincere personal apologies and accept responsibility?
Additionally, I’m disappointed, as others have also cimmented, that this resolution doesn’t take one more step and address the issue of the lack of acknowledgement of women in ministry leadership. However, I do understand that these are seperate issues. It’s important to treat them as such. Perhaps Dr Allen will be inspired to write a second resolution on that topic. And perhaps the same men who valiantly signed their names to a resolution saying essentially “in 2018 the Southern Baptist are against beating up on women because we realize Jesus didn’t tolerate it” will also sign a resolution that says “in 2018 the Southern Baptists think that a woman who goes to the same seminary as a man does, and earns the same degree as a man does, and does the same jobs as a man does, should be able to be ordained, and receive equal pay and benefits, and equal responsibilities because we realize Jesus, and even Paul, had women doing the same jobs as men.”

June 02, 2018 at 5:53 am, Rebecca Miller said:

Long overdue.

June 11, 2018 at 12:41 am, Jerry D. Woods said:

Im surprised you dd not ask Dr. Paige Patterson to sign this. I believe he would have no problem doing so.

June 11, 2018 at 4:03 pm, Joe said:

Why can’t you just read the Bible and do that?
Why do you need man-made resolutions?
Who are you trying to appease?

June 11, 2018 at 8:22 pm, Suzanne Thomas said:

The Bible says we are to love, honor, protect, and cherish one another. As we grow in the spirit and in our earthly marriage relationship with a spouse, we become more and more dependent upon one another and upon God for our daily needs. Yet the world sees women and men as objects to be used. Let us follow Holy Scripture in our love for one another and in our quest to live like Jesus.

Comments are closed.