Advocacy group responds to Southern Baptists’ ban on female pastors

As the Southern Baptist Convention once again makes female pastors the targets of denomination-wide conflict at its Annual Meeting next week, advocacy group for gender equality among Baptists sets plans to send a different message.

On June 11-12, 2024 the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) will hold its Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana and will vote on the second and final reading of a constitutional amendment stating that churches which affirm, appoint, or employing women as pastors of any kind are not in friendly cooperation with the convention and should be disfellowshipped.

In response, Baptist Women in Ministry has plans to counter the SBC’s denigration of women and amplify the positive message that there should be no limits to how women can participate in the work of the church.

Considering prayer to be a form of advocacy, Baptist Women in Ministry will hold its Annual Gathering as a virtual prayer vigil on June 10, 2024, the day before the SBC Annual Meeting begins. The vigil will provide an opportunity for women in ministry and their supporters to pray in solidarity for all those affected by the SBC’s actions including Baptist women in other denominations who also continue to face gendered oppression.

  • What: Baptist Women in Ministry Prayer Vigil
  • When: June 10, 2024, 7:00pm Eastern
  • Where: Zoom

Additionally, the organization published “An Open Prayer of Affirmation and Solidarity” on May 22 to give supporters a chance to add a short prayer expressing their hope and desire for equality. During the SBC Annual Meeting, staff from the organization plan to be on the sidewalk outside of the Indianapolis Convention Center to read the prayers as a public demonstration of support for the full equality of female pastors among Baptists.

  • What: Public Demonstration of Support for Baptist Female Pastors through Prayer
  • When: June 11-12, 2024
  • Where: Outside of the SBC Annual Meeting at the Indianapolis Convention Center

These plans to advocate for female pastors in the face of the SBC’s actions are also supplemented by the June 10th release of a feature documentary, Midwives of a Movement, which chronicles the stories of women who challenged patriarchy in the SBC in the 1970’s and 1980’s to start the organization’s movement. The documentary will be available for streaming on YouTube.

To request the Zoom link for the prayer vigil or an embargoed copy of Midwives of a Movement for review, contact Meredith Stone, [email protected].


Baptist Women in Ministry is a nation-wide organization that supports women who pursue ministry and leadership with sustaining resources and community, and advocates for the full affirmation of women in ministry in Baptist life. The organization was founded in 1983 from within the Southern Baptist Convention and evolved to serve a broader Baptist constituency in the years that followed.


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Religion News Service or Religion News Foundation.

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