A Baptist church in Forsyth County is the latest to announce that it will drop its Boy Scout program at the end of the year after the organization announced that it would no longer deny membership to openly gay boys.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports Calvary Baptist Church announced in a statement Monday that it would end its involvement with the Boy Scouts of America on Dec. 31.
“Recently, the Boy Scouts of America voted to affirm openly homosexual participation in their organization,” the Rev. Rob Peters, Calvary’s senior pastor, said in a video posted on the church’s website. “This decision is controversial and directly challenges the moral standards of churches across the U.S. sponsoring scout troops.”
Calvary officials said the church would help Scouts pursuing an Eagle Scout rank reach that goal before the end of the year, and that it would help Scouts who want to stay with the Boy Scouts of America find another pack or troop.
The church also said it plans to join a new organization that is being formed to provide a scouting alternative for people who did not agree with the new policy adopted by the Boy Scouts.
Steve Wilburn, chief executive of the Old Hickory Council of Boy Scouts of America, which covers Forsyth County and other parts of Northwest North Carolina, said that he was sorry to see Calvary leave. He said two churches in the council are leaving because of the new policy, but that most are staying put.
Wilburn would only say the churches that are leaving are in Yadkin County.
“We have not had a lot of negative reaction from our local charter partners, the churches and other organizations that sponsor Scouting units,” he said. “We are pleased that the majority have stood by us.”
First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Gastonia announced last week it would not renew its longtime charter with the organization.