Historic Macon church approves same-sex marriage ceremonies

Members of First Baptist Church of Christ, one of Macon’s oldest churches, on Sunday overwhelmingly approved allowing same-sex marriage ceremonies in the church.

The Rev. Scott Dickison, the church’s pastor, said the resolution passed with 73 percent voting in favor. About 230 members voted by secret ballot in a conference following the regular Sunday service. Dickison said that was about the typical size of the congregation on Sunday.

“I’m grateful for the congregation traveling together to this point, and it is an important point but it comes with some tenderness,” he said. “We will continue to heal together as we move forward.”

He declined any further comment.

Dickison said in an email to The Telegraph last week that the church did not have a stated policy on same-sex marriage. He said the resolution was more of a “clarification” to church policy than a change.

Earlier church leaders voted 25-5 in favor of the resolution, which brought it to a full vote of the church. Several members of the church approached after the vote declined to discuss it. Bonnie Chappell, chair of the deacons, said out of respect for those who disagreed, she did not want to say how she voted.

“I’m proud to be in a church that has these conversations and does not shy away from these things,” she said.

She said she was not personally aware of any requests to have a same-sex marriage in the church. She said the resolution came about from discussions members had about the church’s vision. Leading up to the vote, the church had three meetings about the issue that Dickison said were well attended.

The church, located at 511 High Place, was founded in 1826.

Telegraph archives and Telegraph photographer Beau Cabell contributed to this report.

Wayne Crenshaw: 478-256-9725, @WayneCrenshaw1