After nearly 60 years of sponsoring a Boy Scout troop, Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem has decided to end its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Pastor Rob Peters made the announcement to the church Aug. 25.
The church will discontinue its sponsorship effective Dec. 31, 2013. The announcement comes after the BSA voted in May to adopt new membership guidelines that allow youth who are openly homosexual into its organization.
“After prayer, conversation and deliberation the church has decided that it will end its relationship with the Boy Scouts of America,” Peters said in a video posted on the church’s website. Peters said the BSA’s controversial decision “directly challenges the moral standards of churches across the United States who sponsor Scout troops.”
The church will remain committed to providing a “smooth transition” for Scouts who have decided to continue in the organization, Peters said.
“We are currently assisting those in the Eagle Scout process to achieve their award in this current calendar year,” Peters said. “We are assisting those who wish to stay with the (BSA) to find another pack or troop.”
“We are grateful for a Scouting program positively impacting so many young people in our church and community,” he said. “… We will continue to invest in starting a relationship with a similar kind of national outdoor, character development program, such as the one currently being launched called On My Honor.”
The church is launching an interim strategy to help transition Scouts into the new program that was started by parents and Scoutmasters earlier this year. According to the On My Honor website, the vision of the organization is “to be the premier national character development organization for young men which produces godly and responsible husbands, fathers, and citizens.”
“… We look forward to continuing our boys character development program under a new name and new charter,” Peters said.
“Our desire is to support and strengthen young people through our affiliation with a traditional values-based program.”
For more information about On My Honor, go to http://www.onmyhonor.net/. For more information about joining or becoming a leader, contact Calvary Baptist Church at (336) 765-5542, or go to http://www.calvarynow.com/scouts.
The church’s website includes the following question and answer section related to the BSA’s decision to change its membership standards:
Q: What has changed in Calvary Baptist Church’s (CBC) relationship to BSA?
A: The BSA national leadership changed their membership standards to allow openly homosexual members to participate in Boy Scout troops. These changes become effective January 1, 2014.
The BSA national leadership addressed the issue of homosexuality among Scouts and viewed this as exclusively a behavioral issue rather than both a moral and behavioral issue.
The BSA changed the overall direction of their organization. The Scouting program chartered by Calvary has not changed. In other words, they moved, the local troop did not. _ÑŒ
Q: How will CBC respond to the BSA change in membership requirements?
A: Before finalizing a decision, the church leadership, deacons, and Scouting leaders carefully reviewed the needs of those in the program and their families, questions concerning participating in a new organization, and legal matters impacting these decisions. That decision has been made and is explained in the information statement released by Calvary Baptist Church.
CBC, as the charter sponsor of Pack, Troop, and Crew 942, will no longer be affiliated with BSA due to the higher commitment to Scriptural teaching as accepted in traditional Christian values. This moral standard is essential to uphold in policy as the Bible teaches that homosexuality is both a moral and behavioral issue.
CBC will end its charter and sponsorship with BSA on December 31, 2013. _ÑŒ
Q: How will Calvary Baptist Church transition away from BSA?
A: The ending date of December 31, 2013 will give a number of Scouts the opportunity to complete merit badges and Eagle Scout projects. Our scouting leadership will assist boys in transitioning to other Scout troops. The church leadership and CBC Scout leaders are aligning with a newly formed group called “On My _ÑŒHonor,” a national outdoor character development program for boys. A national meeting will be held in Nashville, TN in early September, and key leaders from the Scouting program and the church will attend and return with recommendations. CBC and Scout leaders are preparing a transitional program to assist those who desire to stay with CBC’s outdoor program for boys (camping, fishing, leadership training, etc.). _ÑŒ
Q: What will the new character development program for boys include?
A: It will include similar components as Pack, Troop, and Crew BSA programs._ÑŒ Boys who are members, as well as those who are not members, of CBC are welcome to join the new organization._ÑŒ Many activities of the current Scouting program will be available without the modified membership standards of BSA.
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: For more information, please contact one of the following leaders: Scouts – Truett Williams at [email protected]; Guy Wentink at [email protected]; George Burns at [email protected]; Cubs – Sheri King at [email protected]; or Bobby Keegan at [email protected]. Or, go to http://www.calvarynow.com/scouts.