Owensboro Baptist church under fire for open door policy - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Owensboro Baptist church under fire for open door policy

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) -

A small Owensboro church is getting a lot of attention after a local Baptist association questions their open door policy to their community.

"Welcoming all, judging no one."

These are the words Pastor Bob Coons of Journey Fellowship Church lives by, and when a lesbians and gays group, called PFLAG, asked to meet at the church, Coons welcomed them.

"It was a natural thing to do to meet with us and share our building space."

After several meetings though, the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association sent them an unexpected request.

"We received a letter from them demanding PFLAG leave and we sever our affiliation with them, although there's no affiliation at all, they just use our building."

Despite threats in the letter of action to exclude Journey Fellowship from the association if they did not tell PFLAG to leave, Pastor Coons didn't budge. 

"We told them we weren't going to do that."

DMBA members released a statement saying they do not agree with PFLAG's definition of a family, saying it conflicts with Baptist beliefs.

Becky Herbog, President of the Owensboro PFLAG chapter, says a lot of people are upset by this.

"They're trying to exclude a lot of people by excluding gays, lesbians, trans-sexuals and trans-gender."

She doesn't understand why her group cannot meet at the church.

"PFLAG is not affiliated with any religion or political party."

Herbog says these days, a family can look many different ways.

"A family is one or two parents and their children.The parents can be married or unmarried couples, either gay or straight."

Coons says if the association votes to revoke the churches membership, they'll continue to serve the best they can, but wishes board members could leave the decision making to the man upstairs.

"It's a strange irony that we be dealt with such ungrace when all we're trying to do is demonstrate grace to others," says Coons.

The Daviess-McLean Baptist Association's made up of 56 churches. They will all vote on August 15th to decide whether Journey Fellowship should stay.

Copyright 2011 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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