FORT WORTH (ABP)—Brett Younger, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, survived a vote to fire him last month but is leaving the church anyway—to become associate professor of preaching at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta.
Broadway Baptist Church has been embroiled for months in a public controversy over homosexuality and other issues. The congregation approved a compromise Feb. 24 intended to end controversy over whether gay couples in the church should be pictured alongside other families in a new church directory. Some members objected to having those photos included, saying that would move from simply welcoming homosexual individuals— which Broadway has done quietly for years—to affirming their lifestyle.
Although the membership approved the compromise, which eliminated family and individual photos, the controversy ballooned into a dispute over Younger’s overall leadership. A group of disgruntled Broadway members later submitted a petition to force a vote declaring the church’s pulpit vacant.
Survived a vote
Younger asked church leaders to schedule the vote, and members voted 499-237 against firing their pastor of nearly seven years.
The two-thirds favorable vote was not enough to quell the controversy, however, and some members have left the church.
McAfee announced Younger’s appointment April 17, effective July 1. He holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and has been an instructor or visiting professor at Southern Seminary, Midwestern Baptist Seminary, Manhattan Christian College, and McAfee. He has been a pastor in Texas, Kentucky, Indiana and Kansas.
“I am honored by the invitation to join the McAfee School of Theology and I’m delighted to join such an outstanding faculty,” Younger said. “I feel like the Spirit is leading me to this new ministry.
“I’m also sad at leaving Broadway, the church has taught me so much about following Christ, and it is one of my hopes in this new ministry I can teach young people to lead their congregations to be as faithful as Broadway has been.”