A U.S. Air Force chaplain has left the Southern Baptist Convention after being criticized for attending a same-sex civil union at his base in New Jersey.
Col. Timothy Wagoner, who will remain stationed at McGuire Air Force Base, says he was thrilled to be a witness on June 23, when Tech. Sgt. Erwynn Umali and Will Behrens made their commitment official.
“I find very little that is more important and nothing that is more exhilarating than providing for the religious freedoms and spiritual care of all service members and their families—and will joyfully continue to do so,” he told the AP.
Wagoner said it was never his intention to “embarrass or misrepresent the Southern Baptists,” though the outcry against him began almost immediately. As a result, he’s joining the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, which is more inclusive that the larger Southern Baptist denomination.
Even as we reported on another Southern Baptist pastor who wouldn’t marry a black couple because it would upset his parishioners, it’s heartening to hear that some clergy put what’s right before what’s popular.