Welcoming and Affirming - 2013

The church ship of Crescent Hill Baptist has nearly completed an amazing journey over the past year and a half as she has navigated the potentially stormy waters of a move toward full acceptance of persons in the LGBT community who have chosen to be part of our fellowship.  Crescent Hill began this journey toward inclusiveness in the 60's during the pastorate of John Claypool when the church opened the doors to persons of color and continued the journey in the 70's with the acceptance of women into the full ministries of the church including service as deacons; Andrea Woolley became a "co-pastor" in 2012.  During the pastorate of Ron Sisk in the late 90's the church developed associations with the American Baptist Convention and Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and welcomed the first gays to serve on the board of deacons.  Several years ago the church joined the Alliance of Baptists.  

In May 2012 Jason Crosby preached the following sermon, "In Or Out", which set the stage for a series of Wednesday night sessions in the spring of 2013 during which several members were able to share their own stories of struggle about feeling accepted or excluded because of sexual identity issues. 

 "In Or Out" (May 2012)

 Jason W. Crosby, preaching   Acts 8:26-40 

At a June 12, 2013 called Ministry Forum the church voted to become a "welcoming and affirming" congregation* and at an October 2013 ministry forum Crescent Hill voted to join the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists.  -- John Arnett, CHBC historian 

*"The vote clarifies that sexual orientation and identity will not be a factor when considering whether or not to extend rights, privileges, and blessings within the church's capacity to bestow.  The passage of this proposal also means that the church will not take into consideration sexual orientation or identity when determining whether or not a person is called to ministry [ordination] and that the church is willing to bless same-sex unions.  103 votes were cast.  94 votes favored the proposal, 7 disapproved, 2 abstentions."  -- from "Life Together", July 2013.