Local News

Triangle Women Fight For Right To Become Southern Baptist Ministers

Posted June 7, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— Triangle women gathered for a prayer vigil Thursday in a peaceful fight for their right to be ministers in the Southern Baptist church.

Patsy Voyles is afraid next week Southern Baptists will take away a woman's right to be ordained.

"It's very dear to me," Voyles says. "We have had women who have dropped out of the seminary and it breaks my heart to see that."

A private investigator by day, Voyles performs weddings and funerals when she is not at work. She was ordained by theSoutheastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Voyles says she is worried the issue may divide Southern Baptist churches.

"Churches will continue to pull out of the Southern Baptist Convention," Voyles says. "It is going to be a dividing issue rather than an unifying issue."

Pastor Bob Albritton's church, Millbrook Baptist, broke away from the Southern Baptist convention four years ago. He welcomes the idea of women in the pulpit.

"I felt real strongly that we needed to stay up," Albritton says. "Every time I'm out of town, I usually ask a woman to preach in the pulpit for me while I'm gone."

A vote on the right for women to be ordained Southern Baptist ministers will take place at the convention.