Tennessee Baptist church that hired female pastor can't vote - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Tennessee Baptist church that hired female pastor can't vote

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Ellen Di Giosia is the first female senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City. (Photo: First Baptist Church of Jefferson City) Ellen Di Giosia is the first female senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Jefferson City. (Photo: First Baptist Church of Jefferson City)
First Baptist Church of Jefferson City hired a woman as its lead pastor this fall and now may lose voting rights at next week's Tennessee Baptist Convention. (Photo: Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel) First Baptist Church of Jefferson City hired a woman as its lead pastor this fall and now may lose voting rights at next week's Tennessee Baptist Convention. (Photo: Brianna Paciorka/News Sentinel)

HENDERSONVILLE, TN (AP) - The Tennessee Baptist Convention is not allowing representatives from a church with a female pastor to vote at its annual meeting.

Media report the convention decided not to seat the representatives from First Baptist Church of Jefferson City on Tuesday at its meeting in Hendersonville.

Officials with the Tennessee Baptist Convention affirmed a committee's determination that the Jefferson City church is no longer a "cooperating church" because it hired the Rev. Ellen Di Giosia as its senior pastor.

Di Giosia says the decision wasn't surprising, but it was disappointing because "cooperation is a hallmark of Baptist life."

Southern Baptists churches believe that the office of pastor is limited to men, but each church is autonomous and can make its own decisions.

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