News by email Donate


First Baptist Church of Jacksonville banner.PNG
Facebook First Baptist Church of Jacksonville
First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.PNG
Facebook First Baptist Church of Jacksonville
USA News

Megachurch asks members to sign statement opposing same-sex marriage

by Kelly Valencia

A megachurch in the US state of Florida has urged its members to sign a statement affirming marriage is only understood to be between one man and one woman.

It’s understood whoever does not sign the statement will no longer be allowed to be part of the membership of the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville.

The statement reads: “As a member of First Baptist Church, I believe that God creates people in his image as either male or female and that this creation is a fixed matter of human biology, not individual choice.

“I believe marriage is instituted by God, not government, is between one man and one woman, and is the only context for sexual desire and expression."

During a special meeting on Sunday, the church’s lead pastor, Dr Heath Lambert, said the decision to put the statement in place was a congregational decision.

“This is a statement that is from our membership,” Pastor Heath said.

“It was approved by all of our pastors. It was approved by all of our lay leadership and it was approved by a vote by the entire congregation. So this is not an upfront for anybody at Baptist Church. It comes from First Baptist Church as an expression of our entire congregation”.

The declaration has garnered controversy, with many accusing the church of excluding LGBT Christians.

The pastor of the nearby church, Riverside Avenue Christian Church, told First Coast News the First Baptist’s decision is overlooking other Christian values.

“The mission of the Church is to care for one another, to love one another, to care for our neighbour, to build a just and generous community, not to say who’s in and who’s out or to sign something to say ‘yes this what you have to believe to be here,” Pastor Erin Dickey told the local news outlet.

However, Pastor Heath argued the statement is not meant to leave anyone out of the church.

He said: “This is a statement that is for our congregation. The First Baptist Church has no power to enforce any of our wishes on anybody else. If you want to come to this church, you are welcome. If you want to go to another church or no church, you are welcome to do that as well…

“If you disagree with us, you are welcome here. Not everybody can be a member here, but you are welcome here.”

Members have until 19th March to sign the document.


A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email