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Church suspends Southern Baptist Convention ties

Grace Baptist Church, a 570-member congregation in the Richmond suburb of Windsor Farms, has announced that it is suspending its participation in the Southern Baptist Convention indefinitely and has joined the moderate Southern Baptist Alliance. The church said it would be host for the alliance's annual meeting March 14-16. "I do not know of any other congregation that has declared itself per se inactive with respect to the Southern Baptist Convention," said Stan Hastey, executive director of the alliance in Washington. He said that other churches, "in a de facto sort of way, have done much the same thing" by announcing that they will withhold funds from national agencies of the 14.9-million-member denomination but said Grace Baptist seems to have been the first to formally suspend its membership in the convention.

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