This lesbian couple have just been named co-pastors at a Baptist church
A lesbian couple in Washington D.C have been named co-pastors of a Baptist Church.
Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen will begin in their new role on February 26th after being presented to the congregation yesterday.
The married couple are believed to be the first gay couple leading a Baptist church, a spokeswoman for the congregation has confirmed.
“We look for the best people in the world and that’s who they were,” said Carol Blythe. “We’re very excited.”
The couple, originally from South Carolina, have moved to Washington to take on the roles in the Calvary Baptist Church.
“We have found it so easy to fall in love with Calvary and its long-standing commitment to be a voice of justice and compassion for those who perpetually find the wholeness of their humanity disregarded and maligned,” the couple said to the congregation Sunday, according to the church.
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The pair had both previously served as associate chaplains – with Sarratt working in behavioural health, and Swearingen at Furham University.
The couple met at the First Baptist Church in their hometown of Greenville, and married there after a nondiscrimination policy was introduced in 2015.
Both of the women have been involved in religion for their entire lives, but have been staunch supporters of LGBT rights.
Sarratt in particular has stood for rights, having previously spoken out about finding harmony between sexual identity and faith and not sacrificing either.
The pair tied the knot in Italy, following the country’s decision to pass a new civil union bill, which legalises same-sex unions. Federica and Isabel fell in love three years during a mission in South America.