Southern Baptist Convention Report

Pastor Ancel Presnell, Jr

Dear Members of STBC,


Last week, a team of 7 men attended the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana on 6/11 & 12. We are an SBC Church, and you need to be made aware of some of the bigger and more pressing things that took place in the business of SBC 2024.

The meeting is made up of SBC Messengers. Messengers are members of SBC Churches that have been sent by their church to participate, vote, and speak to the business of the SBC. Last week was made up of the normal business of financial reports, SBC Seminary reports, our International Missions report and the commissioning and sending of nearly 80 new missionaries to the field, and our North American Mission report.

The SBC is made up of nearly 48,000 churches. This makes us the largest protestant denomination in the world. In recent years, there have been findings of several SBC Churches with women in titled positions as “pastor”, most of which are roles in title only such as: Children’s ministry pastor, youth pastor, senior saint pastor, etc. However, there have been several churches that have women in Senior pastor roles. This violates our Baptist Faith & Message. The past two years of our convention has led to the messengers voting to remove 3 churches from the SBC. These churches were deemed “not in friendly cooperation” with the SBC as outlined by our Baptist Faith and Message. The largest church removed was Saddleback Church in southern California; this is the church that Rick Warren pastored for 30+ years. Each of these churches were voted out by over 90% of the present messengers.

There was an amendment presented last year by Pastor Mike Law to amend the SBC By-Laws   to spell out more clearly that the role of pastor in both name and function is exclusively for men only as laid out in scripture (Acts 13:1–4; 14:23; 20:18; 2 Cor 8:19; 1 Tim 3:1–16; 4:11; 5:22; Titus 1:5–9.) Our by-laws require that to amend the by-laws/constitution, you must receive 2/3 vote two years in a row. Last year’s vote received over 80% affirming the amendment and this year, the amendment failed receiving only 61%. Strong Tower Baptist Messengers stood firmly on the need for the amendment. All 7 of our messengers voted in favor of the amendment.

There are two terms that identify the two opposing beliefs on women in pastoral roles. The terms are Egalitarian & Complementarian. The Egalitarian view is that women can serve in pastoral roles as well as teach/preach to mixed audiences, and the Complementarian view is that the role, function, and title of pastor/elder is reserved for men only as scripture outlines. Strong Tower Baptist Church is fully Complementarian.

Why did the amendment fail? The amendment failed in large part because many messengers believe the amendment was unnecessary. Their argument for it being unnecessary was rooted in the fact that we voted churches out with women in pastoral roles and titles the past two Conventions. Unfortunately, I am afraid that too many within our convention believes that the role and or title is permissible to be held by a female. I disagree whole-heartedly. While women are essential to church ministry and we thrive due to the ministry of women within the local church, the role, function, and title of pastor is reserved for men.

Many wonder, is our SBC taking a liberal or compromising turn? I do not think we are taking a liberal turn, but I fear we may be heading toward a slippery slope. My deepest ties both spiritually and emotionally to our SBC is our cooperation with some 4000 International Missionaries, and a few thousand North American Missionaries and Church planters. This force of good is worth fighting for and contending for the faith. Our Seminaries are great seminaries that train men and women and equip them well for ministry.

The SBC has historically been on the right side of social issues and theology. The SBC has advocated for the pre-born in the womb by standing against abortion and standing with crisis pregnancy centers for decades. The most recent discussion and debate has been about the medical treatment for mothers/couples known as IVF (In Vitro Fertilization.) This has become a very controversial subject due to the nature of the process. There are various methods used and choices given to patients that are indeed unethical. The process and treatment are not withheld from persons who practice immoral relationships nor from others who have unethical motif. Are there devoted Christians who have used IVF, gone on to have babies and now are raising them in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Certainly! Are there people who have treated their fertilized eggs/pre-born humans as property and treated them in unethical ways? Yes, many of which have led to the destruction of fertilized eggs. These two pro-IVF positions has caused much debate among Christians.

The SBC 2024 meeting had messengers speak in favor of IVF while others spoke against IVF. For many, this is a gut-wrenching topic due to their deep and natural desire to have children. To others, it is viewed as a method to pick and choose their best offspring while destroying or abandoning their remaining fertilized eggs/pre-born humans. During last week’s SBC, a resolution (opinion) was presented to the messengers to oppose IVF. Arguments on both sides were presented. The resolution passed. The official opinion & position of the SBC is in opposition to IVF. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Council (ERLC) of the SBC has taken this same opposing view. You may read more about their view and learn more about the ERLC here:


The SBC Sexual Abuse Taskforce appointed a few years back by the SBC finally presented their work on “sexual abuse prevention” as requested by the messengers of the SBC in previous years. This work can be found at this link:

I am grateful for this task force and their work to provide this help at no charge to our churches. 


In summary, overall, the SBC went well in 2024. However, I am keeping up with the news and trajectory of our convention closely. This is why we send a team to the SBC annually to represent our church and to contend for the faith as Jude 3, 4 ascribes us to do. There are some things that I cannot align with if we were to cross that threshold. Are we there? No, I do not think so. When we get there, I will present it to the church and give my recommendations. Until then, we are going to keep on serving Jesus, supporting our missionaries, and tending to the field that God has placed us in here in East Tennessee! STBC does not live and die by the SBC! Churches come and churches go. Likewise, denominations come, and denominations go. I will do my best to lead our church in the scriptures and we will continue to be a light and witness in our community, county, state, nation, and globe through missions.


If you have any questions regarding this summary report of the SBC 2024, feel free to email me at or call the church office @ 423-207-0362.