One of the most prominent Southern Baptists in the country is leaving the denomination. Beth Moore, an author and speaker who teaches on biblical topics to arenas filled with evangelicals, cited the “staggering” disorientation of seeing denominational leaders support Donald J. Trump, among other issues.
“There comes a time when you have to say, this is not who I am,” Ms. Moore told Religion News Service in a bombshell interview published Tuesday. “I am still a Baptist, but I can no longer identify with Southern Baptists.”
She also told the news service she had recently ended her longtime publishing relationship with Lifeway Christian, the denomination’s publishing arm.
Ms. Moore is not a traditional denominational leader. She does not lead a church or teach at a seminary. (Indeed, the Southern Baptist Convention prohibits women from preaching to adult men.) But she arguably wields deeper loyalty and more authentic influence than many of the men often called on as spokesmen for evangelicalism.
“Beth Moore is one of the most popular evangelists in the world,” said Kate Bowler, a historian at Duke Divinity School and author of a 2019 book about evangelical women celebrities. “Outside the Southern Baptist Convention, who can name another Southern Baptist right now?”