Finding aid for the First Baptist Church of Granville Collection

First Baptist Church of Granville Collection
Ohio Historical Society
Phone: 614-297-2510
Karen Graves
.25 linear feet
This collection contains materials related to the First Baptist Church of Granville's 1995 disfellowshipment by the Columbus Baptist Association (CBA), a regional chapter of the American Baptist Council. The collection includes memos; church bulletins; letters both in support of and in opposition to the Church's pro-GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender) position; official documents related to the disfellowshipment; and articles, newspaper clippings, and other related publications. The dates range from 1993 to 2005. In 1995, the First Baptist Church became a member of the Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists. This is an organization which advocates the inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in the activities of the Baptist denomination, without judgment or hostility. The Columbus Baptist Association disagreed with this decision, and began disfellowshipment proceedings. Many pastors and congregation members testified against the idea of allowing GLBT people into the congregations, claiming homosexuality as an abomination before God. The First Baptist Church presented their own testimony involving the good influence their inclusive attitude had had with GLBT members, giving them a more positive outlook on life, without creating an environment of condemnation. There were a number of irregularities with the actual process, including the final vote on disfellowshipment, which passed by a few votes. There were 118 votes counted, although there were only 101 delegates with the power to vote. Even with the obvious issues involved, the CBA refused to revote, or recount. The First Baptist Church appealed, but this was denied. They were officially disfellowshipped from the Columbus Baptist Association. After some time spent searching and discussing options, the Church was welcomed with open arms by the Rochester/Genesee Region of the American Baptist Churches of New York. The First Baptist Church is, therefore, still a member of the American Baptist Church, though its closest regional sister church is nearly 400 miles away.
MSS 1469
Ohio Historical Center
The records are in English