Update: The word “former” was added to the headline, and “Southern” has been removed from the closing paragraph because they confused some readers. -DS
Park Road Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC, has been featured in a local profile because of their inclusive and tolerant environment and service to their neighbors. The church is led by a husband-and-wife team, Russ and Amy Jacks Dean, who recently performed a marriage for a same-sex couple and have kept a congregation with diverse political and theological views together.
The church has a traditional worship service, without contemporary music or A/V aids, but has a theology focused on social justice and equal rights, which led to their disassociation from the North Carolina Baptist Convention in response to the Convention forbidding acceptance of LGBT relationships and same-sex sexual orientation.
Members of the church disagreed with each other on some of these decisions, but have remained members, and the church has continued to grow. The magazine notes that the Deans have held funerals for unknown and impoverished people, and that they’ve demonstrated a deep faith and love of God to their neighbors, even neighbors who protested or criticized them.
The Deans maintain a blog on their church site, where Russ wrote about Franklin Graham and opposition to Muslim prayer at Duke University.
The Deans believe that they may have a hard time finding another church if they ever leave Park Road Baptist; do you know of other Baptist churches that may welcome their revolutionary ministry?