AG General Council Amends Bylaw to Permit Divorce Due to Domestic Violence

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Over 22,000 people gathered for the 58th Assemblies of God (AG) General Council in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The Council passed 22 resolutions, including one allowing those who divorce their spouses due to domestic violence to serve in ministry leadership.

The resolution, in part, states:

WHEREAS, Many spouses who leave a violent spouse (with or without children) are running

for their lives from someone who has literally become an oppressor and enemy.

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David and others in Scripture fled for their lives and prayed for God to deliver them

from the hands of their enemies. That is justified when one's life or children's lives

are endangered; and

WHEREAS, This confluence of verses and overarching biblical themes validate this exception

for approving a divorce with The General Council of the Assemblies of God; and

WHEREAS, A confluence of several verses and overarching biblical themes validate the

exception of ecclesiastical annulment which the church has instituted by approving

the divorce of those who have been deceived or defrauded by their spouse; and

WHEREAS, The use of the ecclesiastical annulment has not lessened the need for the applicant

to have a divine call, solid integrity, sound doctrine and fullness of the Spirit;

The AG's former bylaw allowed people to receive ministerial credentials with the denomination if they divorced their spouse prior to conversion or if they divorced their spouse for marital unfaithfulness. The amended bylaw now includes divorce due to "domestic violence by a spouse to a spouse or child."

AG Pastor Kelly Delp praised the Council for speaking up in defense of women:

The Council also elected and re-elected members to their leadership. As of October, the new executive leadership team will include:

  • Doug Clay as general superintendent.
  • Rick DuBose as assistant general superintendent.
  • Donna Barrett as general secretary.
  • Wilfredo "Choco" De Jesus as general treasurer.
  • Greg Mundis as executive direct of AG World Missions.
  • Malcolm Burleigh as executive director of AG U.S. Missions.

Barrett was the first woman elected as an executive in 105 years of AG history. She first took the position in June 2018.

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