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 Baptist churches face split

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POMONA (AP) - Delegates representing congregations of the American Baptist Churches of the Pacific Southwest voted overwhelmingly Saturday to recommend severing ties with the national denomination in a dispute over homosexuality.

The matter now goes to the board of directors, which has already recommended withdrawal from American Baptist Churches, USA, citing ''deep differences of theological convictions and values.''

The board is scheduled to meet May 11.

On Saturday, delegates from the region's 300 churches voted 1,125 to 209 to withdraw from American Baptist Churches, USA. The delegates met in seven locations across the West, including First Baptist Church in Pomona.

The board of directors had the authority to withdraw from the national denomination, but decided to seek input from the delegates, according to a statement on the group's Web site.

There has been a growing split within the 1.4 million-member American Baptist Churches, USA over homosexuality.


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