Pastor to challenge church board on female preachers - WSMV News 4

Pastor to challenge church board on female preachers

Posted: Updated:
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.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mayor's proposed $5.2B transit plan includes light rail, downtown tunnel

    Mayor's proposed $5.2B transit plan includes light rail, downtown tunnel

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 5:36 PM EDT2017-10-18 21:36:16 GMT
    Mayor Megan Barry and city officials announced the transit plan on Tuesday morning. (WSMV)Mayor Megan Barry and city officials announced the transit plan on Tuesday morning. (WSMV)

    Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and other city leaders unveiled Music City's long-awaited mass transit plan on Tuesday.

    More >>

    Nashville Mayor Megan Barry and other city leaders unveiled Music City's long-awaited mass transit plan on Tuesday.

    More >>
  • Police: Woman who feared deportation drowned 2 boys

    Police: Woman who feared deportation drowned 2 boys

    Tuesday, October 17 2017 7:08 PM EDT2017-10-17 23:08:38 GMT
    (Wilmington Police Department via AP) This undated photo provided by the Wilmington Police Department shows Kula Pelima. Police in Delaware's largest city have charged Pelima with drowning her infant son and the baby's 5-year-old half brother.(Wilmington Police Department via AP) This undated photo provided by the Wilmington Police Department shows Kula Pelima. Police in Delaware's largest city have charged Pelima with drowning her infant son and the baby's 5-year-old half brother.
    (AP) -- A woman drowned her infant son and his 5-year-old half brother in a bathtub hours after she called police and told them she was worried about being deported, a Delaware police chief said Tuesday. Kula Pelima, a native of Liberia who has lived in the U.S. for two decades, called 911 about 3:45 a.m. Monday, fearing that her visa had lapsed, Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy said at a news conference. It's not clear why Pelima was worried. Immigration and Customs Enforcement...More >>
    (AP) -- A woman drowned her infant son and his 5-year-old half brother in a bathtub hours after she called police and told them she was worried about being deported, a Delaware police chief said Tuesday. Kula Pelima, a native of Liberia who has lived in the U.S. for two decades, called 911 about 3:45 a.m. Monday, fearing that her visa had lapsed, Wilmington Police Chief Robert Tracy said at a news conference. It's not clear why Pelima was worried. Immigration and Customs Enforcement...More >>
  • Metro airport authority fires CEO at board meeting

    Metro airport authority fires CEO at board meeting

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 3:36 PM EDT2017-10-18 19:36:03 GMT

    The Metro Nashville Airport Authority Board fired its president and CEO during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

    More >>

    The Metro Nashville Airport Authority Board fired its president and CEO during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
WSMV
Powered by WorldNow CNN
All content © 2017, WSMV; Nashville, TN. (A Meredith Corporation Station) . All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.