Saluda Association severs ties with Pendleton church

Saluda Baptist Association in Anderson has dissolved ties with Pendleton First Baptist Church because the church’s bylaws allow for the election of a woman as senior pastor.

Messengers to the association’s annual meeting Nov. 2 at Iva First Baptist Church voted overwhelmingly to recommend that the remaining 78 churches withdraw fellowship from the Pendleton congregation.

The motion to sever the 172-year-old ties with the church came from the association’s administrative and executive committees, which cited a statement from Section 6 of the Baptist Faith and Message 2000: “While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture.”

Saluda Association leaders declined to comment on the action, citing a prior agreement not to speak publicly.

In an article published Nov. 3 in the Anderson Independent-Mail, Courtney Krueger, senior pastor of the Pendleton church, said he was thankful that “both our association and our church handled this in a civil way, in a way that was not disrespectful to one another.”