UPDATE (KEYE) - An Austin church that opened its doors to the LGBT community was expelled Tuesday from the association of Texas Baptists.
The First Baptist Church of Austin and other churches welcoming lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are no longer members of the state's largest association of Baptist churches.
Texas Baptists maintains marriage is between a man and a woman. First Baptist Church of Austin celebrates gay weddings and say it's time to set an example.
Another Baptist church in Dallas is being expelled along with any other Texas churches that support gay marriage.
An Austin church is under fire for opening its doors to the LGBT community. The First Baptist Church of Austin is on the verge of being expelled from the Texas Baptists association.
“I think I'll be sad there wasn't room at the table for love,” said Rev. Dr. Griff Martin. “We have ordained gay deacons. We have done gay weddings. We are celebrating children of gay couples.”
It's why the First Baptist Church of Austin was notified that it's no longer welcome to be part of Texas Baptists (Baptist General Convention of Texas).
“They would hold to the position that marriage is just between a man and a woman,” said Rev. Martin. “Texas Baptists is looking more and more like the Southern Baptist Convention and that's terrifying.”
The scripture on the altar at First Austin reads "depart from evil and do good." But on Monday those words are being interpreted very differently.
Dorothy Strickland has sat in the congregation at First Austin for over three decades.
“It hurts. It's sad for us,” said Strickland.
Emotionally she's very connected to Texas Baptists, but thinks a break is inevitable.
“This is something that our church has to do in order to still honor those members who we've accepted into our community and we thing God is working through and blessing,” said Strickland.
The First Baptist Church of Austin expects to be expelled Monday or Tuesday. Even if it's a painful cut, Rev. Martin thinks the healing that happens could extend far past his downtown Austin church.
“It gives freedom to other churches to finally do the right thing, because somebody else has walked down the road and you're not alone,” said Rev. Martin.
This statement from Texas Baptists was sent to CBS Austin on Monday:
“This is a painful time for Texas Baptists. We have deep respect and appreciation for First Austin. While Texas Baptists are loving, respectful and welcoming to all people, we have a longstanding and often reaffirmed biblical position on human sexuality. As in the past, when a church chooses a position outside of the BGCT position, that church effectively withdraws from harmonious cooperation. The BGCT values the autonomy of the local church and the harmony which is vital to the Convention’s purpose of fostering cooperative missions and ministries.”
Texas Baptists (Baptist General Convention of Texas)