FBC Nacogdoches is parting ways with BSA over homosexual ruling

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - It happened just yesterday at church.

The congregation at First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches voted to drop its longstanding charter sponsorship with the Boy Scouts of America.

Vote or not, the pastor said there was no way he would sign a charter with an organization allowing homosexuals into its membership. The decision followed the lead of the troop's leaders. Come September, the Scout Hut behind First Baptist Church Nacogdoches will no longer be home to Troop 103 as it has for decades.

"I cannot renew my role as a leader for our scout troop because of what has been decided by the national council to lift the ban on homosexuals," said Dr. Allen Reed, the senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Nacogdoches.

Reed had already decided he wasn't going to sign the annual charter agreement, but he conducted a vote. The vast majority of deacons and membership agreed with his stance.

"The lifting of the ban from homosexuals being a part of scouting I think is just the beginning. The next thing they'll do is allow leaders to be homosexuals," Reed said.

A BSA spokesperson responded, "While we wish the partnership with First Baptist Church would continue, we are respectful of their wishes to end their support of local scouting programs in East Texas."

This week, the Southern Baptist Convention is meeting in Houston. Dr. Reed anticipates there will be numerous resolutions passed on the Boy Scout issue."

Like Baptists, individual Methodist churches can be influenced by leadership. So far David Welch, a troop leader at Perritte Methodist is agreeing to disagree with BSA's decision.

"I struggled with the issue myself and will continue to," Welch said. "It's a very unfortunate situation for scouting."

Meanwhile Catholics wait for orders from bishops later this month. Sacred Heart Catholic Church's Father James Young only knows Troop 100 has graduated 65 Eagle Scouts.

"I have heard rumors that some may quick the scouts," Young said. "That would be sad."

The decision, faith and tolerance place boy scouts in difficult thought.

When asked if he is still proud to wear the Boy Scout uniform, Welch replied, "Not as proud as I used to be."

First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches is agreeing to sponsor the current scouts during Court of Honor and summer camps. In September, the separation becomes effective.

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