N.C. church at heart of Koran controversy withdraws from SBC
FOREST, N.C. (BP)--The North Carolina church at the center of a recent controversy over the Koran has voted to withdraw from the Southern Baptist Convention, the Biblical Recorder newspaper reported June 6.
The congregation, Danieltown Baptist Church in Rutherford County, N.C., was embroiled in a media storm in May when its pastor, Creighton Lovelace, placed a derogatory message about the Koran on the church sign in front of the building. It read, "The Koran needs to be flushed."
Lovelace subsequently apologized and removed the message from the sign.
About two dozen people at the church’s most recent monthly business meeting unanimously voted to withdraw from the SBC, the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina and the Sandy Run Baptist Association, according to the Biblical Recorder, the official journal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
Lovelace told the Recorder that some members desired to become an independent Baptist church even before the controversy. He also noted that the criticisms about him and his church by Biblical Recorder editor Tony W. Cartledge had been “scathing.”
Lovelace said that some members were afraid the sign could put SBC missionaries in danger
Lovelace indicated that he had been influenced by the article, "Why I am not Southern Baptist," which is distributed by the Fundamental Baptist Information Service. Among other things, the article says that all denominations are unbiblical. It also criticizes the SBC for embracing Billy Graham and for using "worldly music."
In a statement released May 25, Lovelace said he "did not realize how people of the Muslim faith view the Koran -- that devoted Muslims view it more highly than many in the U.S. view the Bible."
"Now I realize how offensive this is to them, and after praying about it, I have chosen to remove the sign," he said at the time. "I apologize for posting that message and deeply regret that it has offended so many in the Muslim community."