Pastor to challenge church board on female preachers - Tucson News Now

Pastor to challenge church board on female preachers

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A Nashville pastor's decision to license female preachers in his church may cost him his credentials, and could cost his congregation its affiliation they have held for more than a century.

Frank Stevenson, senior pastor at St. Luke Primitive Baptist Church, said he won't back down.

"I knew we were going against tradition," Stevenson said. "Quite honestly, I'm surprised it went to this level and moved so quickly."

Stevenson recently received a letter informing him that he could lose his ordination credentials at the church he helped grow from 50 members to more than 1,200 in the past decade.

On June 18, 15 women became the first licensed female preachers in the congregation's long history. That is against the rules in the church's denomination.

"Right now, I have what we call a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy," Stevenson said. "They are preaching in Primitive Baptist churches across the country, but they can't be identified as preachers with a license."

Stevenson has licensed three more women since the first ceremony.

The letter Stevenson received from the church's executive board said he has until Sept. 14 to take the licenses back in order to avoid having his credentials suspended.

But Stevenson is not giving in.

"That is not of God, and I plan to challenge it in every aspect," he said. "Even if it costs me everything I have worked for in my ministry."

Stevenson's congregation is standing beside him and the women.

"He has the full support of the church, the deacon board, our entire membership," said Robert Frazier, executive director of the church's deacon board. "We're excited and behind him 100 percent."

St. Luke, one of the founding Primitive Baptist churches in Nashville, risks losing its association the church has held for 147 years, and could find itself an independent church.

"I felt the Lord, I believe he created me just for this moment," Stevenson said.

Stevenson is making an appeal to the 32 local churches that have the power to reverse the board's decision. And his fight doesn't stop there.

"I'm leaving today (Tuesday) to go to our national convention in Birmingham," Stevenson said. "I will give our president a letter of disappointment on how we've treated women in our faith."

Channel 4 News reached out to the Primitive Baptist executive board, but did not receive a call back by deadline.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • KOLD Now FeaturingMore>>

  • Local newsMore>>

  • Road to Mount Lemmon back open, use caution on side roads

    Road to Mount Lemmon back open, use caution on side roads

    Monday, December 18 2017 10:30 AM EST2017-12-18 15:30:49 GMT
    (Source: Bill Morrow)(Source: Bill Morrow)

    The road to Mount Lemmon was closed to the public at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 due to hazardous weather on the mountain, according to Pima County. 

    The road to Mount Lemmon was closed to the public at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 due to hazardous weather on the mountain, according to Pima County. 

  • Marana police increases patrols for holiday shopping

    Marana police increases patrols for holiday shopping

    Monday, December 18 2017 9:57 AM EST2017-12-18 14:57:29 GMT

    As you are finishing your holiday shopping, you may spot more patrols at some of your favorite stores. It’s all part of the Marana Police Department’s annual operation “Holiday Patrols.” The police department places officers at big-box retailers like Target, Walmart and the Tucson Premium Outlet Mall off I-10. The goal is to keep shoppers safe during a time when thieves take advantage of unaware shoppers. The ...

    As you are finishing your holiday shopping, you may spot more patrols at some of your favorite stores. It’s all part of the Marana Police Department’s annual operation “Holiday Patrols.” The police department places officers at big-box retailers like Target, Walmart

  • UPDATE: Mount Lemmon reopens after temporary restrictions Sunday

    Sunday, December 17 2017 7:00 PM EST2017-12-18 00:00:23 GMT
    Source: Tucson News NowSource: Tucson News Now

    The road to Mount Lemmon reopened shortly after 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 17, according to the county's road condition hotline.

    The road to Mount Lemmon reopened shortly after 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 17, according to the county's road condition hotline.

Powered by Frankly