Plot Twist! Newest ‘SBC Pastrix Scandal’ Reveals Far More Pastors at Vista Community Church, But are they Even SBC?

Another ‘SBC Church’ is in the news for ordaining women. This time it is Vista Community Church in Temple, Texas, led by Austin Fischer- a man whose Twitter feed is populated by quotes from Miroslav Volf, Barak Obama, and the usual band of suspects for of someone who clearly is moving in a progressive way. Last week he announced that the church ordained their first female pastor-Sydney Pfleeger- a move that stirred up the usual fracas between defenders of the SBC (Tom Buck) and destroyers of it ( Dwight McKissic) as if the presence of a preacher with two X chromosomes was something new for the congregation.

That the SBC is rife with female pastors is nothing new. We did a big expose on this too last year, when we discovered that 10% of the biggest churches in the Southern Baptist Convention have women pastors on staff, and another 15% have women functioning in the role of pastor, just without the title. Here is just one example where we dissected a BFAM2k-defying church.

It is a fact. It has been a fact for years. It has been a fact for years that you can throw a rock into any random Baptist potluck and hit a pastrixes right in her Beth Moore Study Bible for the amount of them there are scurrying around unrebuked and un-kicked-out-of-convention. Want a list? Here is a list, courtesy of Thom Rainer and the SBC500.

Yet one thing that is strange indeed is the timeline being given by Austin Fisher. Not only do they have one new pastrix, but they also have at least three others on staff.

In fact, if we take a trip down the Wayback Machine to January 28, 2021, we see that even a year ago, there were two pastrixes on staff, with Sarah Hammond already functioning in that role, along with Sydney Pfleeger- both whom had been with the Church for years. Stroup at the time was still a Student Associate, meaning she obtained her role as pastor sometime between then and now. For Pfleeger, she took on the role of pastor back in December of 2020.

It’s a bizarre ecclesiology that says you can have the title of pastor for a year, and be functioning in the role of pastor for a year within a church, and have the congregation recognize you as such, but not be ordained as a pastor. Does this mean that the other pastrixes at Vista Community Church are not ordained yet, or are they PINO’s (Pastors in Name Only) until they get commissioned via official ceremony?

While all that is interesting, there is one giant matter complicating the story. Despite being listed as an SBC Church, Lead Pastor Austin Fisher denies they are part of the Southern Baptist Convention, making the whole point moot and giving them the freedom (sinful as it may be) to ordain whomever they want.

While that ought to settle things, it still raises at least one curious question.

Did the church leave the SBC so that they could start ordaining women? Or are those records false too? We have reached out to the church asking for clarification and will update this post accordingly.

6 thoughts on “Plot Twist! Newest ‘SBC Pastrix Scandal’ Reveals Far More Pastors at Vista Community Church, But are they Even SBC?

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  3. I don’t see FBC Jefferson City, TN. They had a female pastor named Ellen who seems to be missing from the August newsletter on their site. Maybe she resigned. The church says they are partners with the cooperative Baptist Fellowship, isn’t that the liberal Baptists? But it also says they “maintain ties” with the SBC, but that could mean SBC *gives them* money, not that they contribute anything. I wouldn’t put it past NAMB, but admittedly don’t know.
    The June newsletter also says they ordained a woman named Christine then, that’s a different person than the woman who used to be their pastor. It doesn’t elaborate on what her role is. No one named Christine is currently on staff on the “Staff” page.

    They may not count as an SBC church.

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