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New Baptist policy targets women-led churches

POSTED: November 27, 2008 5:00 a.m.

ATLANTA -- Georgia Southern Baptists have approved a policy that diminishes the role of churches led by women pastors.

The policy approved Tuesday gives the state Baptist Convention the ability to refuse donations from entities out of sync with Southern Baptist beliefs. The only church that currently falls into that category is the 2,700-member Decatur First Baptist led by the Rev. Julie Pennington-Russell.

Southern Baptists say only men may be head pastor. J. Robert White, executive director of the convention, said there was talk last year of breaking ties with Decatur First Baptist.

Pennington-Russell was out of town and did not attend the convention.

She said no one told her those matters would be discussed.

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