Holmeswood Baptist Church announces acceptance of LGBTQ+ members
By Kathy Feist
Holmeswood Baptist Church recently decided to become more inclusive by embracing individuals who are LGBTQ+ into the full life of the church.
The church completed a nearly two-year long process that included church-wide conversations where congregants sat around tables and listened to one another. They reflected on theologies and revisited Bible studies that discussed human sexuality and gender identities.
“We were hoping to do something that is so rare these days and that is having people of different perspectives actually listen and talk to one another,” David McDaniel, Senior Pastor, said. “In a day when polarization is the air we breathe– you are either on one side or another–we desired to create a third way of decision-making, where every person has the opportunity to speak and to listen.”
At the end of it all, there was a large consensus in the church that indicated since individuals who are LGBTQ+ are fully embraced by Christ, they should also be fully embraced in the church. Human sexuality and gender identity would not be filters to be used when determining how an individual can become engaged in the sacred practices and organization of the congregation.
Holmeswood Baptist Church is a member of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a denomination that split in the 1990s from the more conservative and better known Southern Baptist Convention. “At our roots, we are very much Baptists,” says McDaniel, emphasizing the denomination’s lack of hierarchy that forms decisions or interprets theology. “Each and every organization gets to decide for themselves what each organization gets to do.”
In this case, the Holmeswood Baptist Church leaned heavily on consensus. McDaniel says the church’s final decision “was one of the most sacred moments I’ve experienced in my five years as pastor in the church.”
says McDaniel. “In fact, it is quite the opposite. You are a child of God whose full life story is a sacred story. At Holmeswood, we desire to hear and learn from one another’s story. In doing so, we each see a clearer picture of the Christ.”
It is important at Holmeswood Baptist that safe space is created for people to experience the sacred embrace of the Divine.
Holmeswood Baptist Church is located at 9700 Holmes Road, Kansas City, MO. For more information, visit http://www.holmeswood.org.