Taylor said the SBC, America’s second-largest faith group behind Roman Catholics, has “consistently shown a mean spirit toward women.”
Taylor started talking to Baptist men and women and found that many — including pastors — are ready for women deacons. They know church bylaws excluding women deacons can be changed, but often treat them as if they are sacred documents and would never think of challenging them.
While visiting a large Texas church in October, Taylor coined a phrase describing such bylaws as “the cold heart of the church.” It came to her as she sang along with a choir of 35 women and 15 men singing praises to God, and it dawned on her that no matter how much those women loved God, the church they served had bylaws that prevented them from serving as deacons.
She said parents who take their daughters to a church that does not recognize women deacons and pastors tell them they are scripturally inferior to boys every time they attend.
Taylor said women in Baptist churches are already doing many things that a deacon does, but without the title. She said churches pick what they want to believe, allowing women equal voice in church business matters, sending them to preach as missionaries and granting them any role in church leadership except one or two.
“Women are tired of being bullied by men in Baptist churches with selected quotes from Apostle Paul,” she wrote in the open letter. “Since we allow women to be the voice to our children to bring them to salvation, how can we deny them any position God calls them to fill?”