Pastor Andy Wood of the Saddleback Megachurch has named his wife a pastor despite Saddleback’s affiliation with the South Baptist Convention (SBC). The official SBC stance is that only men can be ordained.
Milton Quintanilla of Christian Headlines writes that Saddleback also ordained three female pastors in 2021, drawing complaints from the SBC leadership. Wood confirmed his commitment to the SBC despite the difference in opinion.
The California-based megachurch Saddleback Church, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, has identified the new lead pastor’s wife as a “teaching pastor” despite the denomination’s stance on the pastoral office being limited to men.
Pastor Andy Wood, the successor of former pastor and bestselling author Rick Warren, lists his wife, Stacie, as a “pastor” in his biography on the church website.
“Pastors Andy and Stacie Wood started their ministry in California as church planters in the Bay Area,” the biography reads, according to The Christian Post. “They began Echo Church in 2009, and it eventually became one of the fastest-growing churches in the area.”
Earlier this month, Stacie Wood preached at the church with a message titled “The Courage to Slow Down” and was identified as a “teaching pastor.” Prior to moving to Saddleback Church, she previously served alongside her husband as a “teaching pastor” at Echo Church.
Andy Wood, who was interviewed by the Associated Press on Monday, told the outlet that he wanted Saddleback to empower “men and women to lead” and said the Bible “teaches that men and women were given spiritual gifts by God.”
“The church should be a place where both men and women can exercise those spiritual gifts,” he contended. “My wife has the spiritual gift of teaching, and she is really good. People often tell me she’s better than me when it comes to preaching, and I’m really glad to hear that.”
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