NAMB chaplain to leave SBC due to media controversy comment (0)
August 2, 2012
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — A Southern Baptist-endorsed Air Force chaplain portrayed recently in national media as watching approvingly the blessing of a same-sex civil union in the chapel he oversees informed officials at the North American Mission Board (NAMB) July 19 that he is leaving the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
The Associated Press (AP) news article implied that Air Force Chaplain (Col.) Timothy Wagoner condoned the same-sex ceremony.
Wagoner supervises chaplains of lower rank and other faiths at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in Wrightstown, N.J. He clarified to NAMB his position on civil unions and his responsibilities as a supervising chaplain.
“The (AP) article does not accurately reflect why I attended a civil union,” Wagoner said. “The general tone of the article has led many to conclude incorrectly that I personally support same-sex civil unions, with statements such as ‘he was watching supportively.’”
After the AP article appeared, Douglas Carver, NAMB’s executive director for chaplaincy, said NAMB’s chaplaincy office immediately emailed a letter to all its chaplains, reinforcing the Southern Baptist position on same-sex civil unions.
On July 20 Baptist Press quoted NAMB President Kevin Ezell saying that he expects the 1,450 Southern Baptist chaplains that serve in the military to support Southern Baptist doctrines “without reservation” and if a chaplain cannot do so, “then it is best to part ways.”
Unless Wagoner finds another body to endorse him, he will have to resign from the military. Attempts to contact him at press time were unsuccessful.