jQuery Slider

You are here

Former Southern Baptist Preacher Beth Moore Joins the Anglican Church in North America

Former Southern Baptist Preacher Beth Moore Joins the Anglican Church in North America

By David W. Virtue, DD
January 3, 2022

She has the vacant stare through a mop of peroxide blonde hair of someone right out of central casting, but Beth Moore managed to convince millions of Southern Baptists that she was made of the right stuff. She built a reputation over three decades as a Bible teacher and preacher...and a $15 million empire.

As an Anglican, watching in her action, is embarrassing and wincing. I could only stand it for a few moments. Then I realized that this is the South where people talk funny (some say I do as well), and to listen to more, I needed a full glass in hand of something stronger than Sprite.

During a recent Twitter thread, Moore shared that through her whole life she believed that only her Southern Baptist denomination loved scripture, and therefore was stunned when she found another denomination that did likewise.

This amazing discovery brought her to the Anglican Church in North America, a group of Anglicans who had broken away from The Episcopal Church because of its growing list of heresies, finally resulting in its attempt to legitimize homosexual marriage by General Convention fiat.

That she knows next to nothing about denominations in America, has no theological degree, only a BA in political science, might account for her ignorance. It does not excuse it.

God apparently opened her eyes to Anglicanism (though the Canterbury trail has been open for some years). Now she is safely ensconced at St. Timothy's Anglican Church, Spring, Texas under the watchful eye of Bishop Clark Lowenfield of the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast who has nothing but good things to say about her.

Beth shared that she'd found a church that 'highly exalts Jesus and sees the Scriptures as the Church's final authority in all matters of faith and practice' and that her first time there, she and her husband 'shot to that altar like starving people begging for bread.' 'I've never needed it so badly in my life," she said, 'my lip quivered, and the tears pooled in my eyes 'on account of God using the liturgy and teaching there to 'sew up' her 'torn up soul.'

One must admire the fact that she left the insular, liturgically thin gruel and southern cultural comfort world of the Southern Baptist Convention (as have other leaders) and as an SBC refugee was able to make her way across the denominational wilderness. One can only applaud her for the courage to make the move. Moses would have undoubtedly applauded her. The promised land of Anglicanism welcomed her with open arms.

Then along came Donald Trump.

Moore's criticism of the 45th president's abusive behavior toward women and her advocacy for sexual abuse victims turned her from a beloved icon to a pariah in the denomination she loved all her life, wrote Bob Smietana in Christianity Today magazine.

"Wake up, Sleepers, to what women have dealt with all along in environments of gross entitlement & power," Moore once wrote about Trump, riffing on a passage from the New Testament Book of Ephesians.

Because of her opposition to Trump and her outspokenness in confronting sexism and nationalism in the evangelical world, Moore has been labeled as "liberal" and "woke" and even as being a heretic for daring to give a message during a Sunday morning church service.

Finally, Moore had had enough. She told Religion News Service in an interview Friday that she is "no longer a Southern Baptist."

By contrast, another woman, Paula White a televangelist and prosperity preacher took a different tack and fawned all over Trump, winning plaudits for doing so. White led the 70-member group, which includes evangelical leaders who backed the former president. She gushed over Trump, calling out "all the great work he had done."

Moore also stands in contrast with another woman, the late Rachel Held Evans, a best-selling author who challenged conservative Christianity, leaving evangelicalism for the Episcopal Church. That's a bit like leaving the Promised Land and heading back into Egypt in the hope that her new spiritual masters would give her theological filet mignon instead of two-day old Egyptian falafel.

Of course, Moore's outsize influence and role in teaching the Bible have always made some evangelical power brokers uneasy, because of their belief only men should be allowed to preach.

But Moore was above reproach, supporting Southern Baptist teaching that limits the office of pastor to men alone and cheerleading for the missions and evangelistic work that the denomination holds dear.

Now she has left a hole in the SBC which will not soon be filled. Of course, the temptation for Bishop Lowenfield and her priest is to eulogize her and give her place and position without testing her. Evangelicalism has a very bad history of raising up would be converts too soon; when they crash and burn, they bring a lot of people down with them. Think John Shelby Spong, Ravi Zacharias and a host of mega church preachers.

Moore apparently has quickly acclimated to the church. She's served as an acolyte and verger, served during the service as a lector, is teaching a class on "The Biblical Narrative and How to Teach a Bible Study" and has been asked to emcee their church's Women's Advent luncheon.

Lowenfield, a gospel driven man who loves smoke, lace and ceremony will hopefully keep her in check.

If Moore does have a future in Anglicanism, she will have to start at the bottom and make her way up the ecclesiastical ladder like everyone else. The temptation of the culture of celebrity infects churches as much as it does the secular world. We shall see.


Get a bi-weekly summary of Anglican news from around the world.
comments powered by Disqus
Trinity School for Ministry
Go To Top