Southern Baptist Leaders Vote for Controversial Changes at Annual Convention

June 15, 2000

Source: Chicago Sun-Times

On June 15, 2000, the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on the reaction of Rev. Elaine Graham, a pastor in a Southern Baptist church in Calumet City, Illinois, to the SBC ban on female pastors. Graham is one of about two dozen Baptist female pastors in the Chicago metropolitan area, which claims 50,000 Southern Baptists. Though she has no intention of mentioning the SBC vote in her Sunday sermon, Graham emphasized the benefit of having female pastors: "Women are sometimes more open to talking with another woman." Graham, who helped start God's Word Christian Center with her husband, Pastor Archie Graham, added that with both male and female Baptist ministers, "the body of Christ could be ministered to in a much more effective way." Despite the vote by the SBC, Graham has no plans to leave the church: "No man can thwart God's plan".