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      The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists
American Baptists Concerned

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 Voice of the Turtle
  Our Newsletter

   When you become a member of American Baptists Concerned or subscribe to the mailing list, you will receive our quarterly newsletter, Voice of the Turtle. The newsletter will help you keep up to date with news on events, retreats, and local, regional and denominational happenings. Voice of the Turtle also offers readers the opportunity to share their personal stories by submitting writings. Helping us to stay in touch with one another for almost twenty-five years, Voice of the Turtle continues to be a voice of justice, integrity and grace. Join in Christian fellowship with sexual minority folks, and allies by becoming a member of American Baptists Concerned. You can view the online version of Voice of the Turtle with Acrobat Reader, downloadable for free.

Voice of the Turtle


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Celebrating 30 Years of Ministry

    American Baptists Concerned for Sexual Minorities was the first organization providing support, education and advocacy for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Baptists. In 1991 ABConcerned recognized that their was a need for an association of churches inclusive of LGBT Baptists. In 1993, The Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists was born. In June of 2003, AWAB and ABConcerned reunited under the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists banner.

AWAB will continue to represent the voices of congregations, united in their desire to be welcoming and affirming places for sexual minority Baptists, family and friends and advocates on behalf of individuals who are often alienated by the church or those within it.

Many LGBT Baptists have reconciled their faith and sexual orientation.  Other people have been caused much pain because of the misbelief that someone cannot be both Christian and gay.  When people face such alienation from their families and churches, we seek to be a ray of hope.

    American Baptists Concerned was founded as a voice for justice on behalf of sexual minority American Baptists in 1972.  We invite you to learn more about the history of American Baptists Concerned and our ongoing mission through AWAB. Check on this and other pages on the Rainbow Baptists website. Our ministry to bring the good news of God's inclusive and affirming love to all continues now and until the day where it is no longer necessary.

     In October, 2003 ABConcerned began a reunion process with the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists. Read more about AWAB

Resources for Youth and Family

   AWAB is looking for people to share their stories. One of the most powerful forms of witness it to share our personal life story one another. We invite you to participate in a project to tell the stories of coming out, of a family members coming out to us, of a tragedy that need not have happened, of how we came to the place we are on LGBTQ issues.


About American Baptists Concerned

Our History

    In May of 1972, American Baptist gay and lesbian people became both vocal and visible for the first time at the national American Baptist convention in Denver, Colorado. American Baptists Concerned grew out of these first efforts toward recognition. We have continued since that time, in a consciousness-raising endeavor, to acquaint both lay persons and ABC church professionals with the fact that lesbian, gay and bisexual people do exist within the church and that this issue is one which the church needs to face.

     In addition to our ongoing AWAB ministry, work and outreach on the national level, there are welcoming & affirming American Baptists Concerned local chapters in a number of areas across the nation.

    In 1991, members of American Baptists Concerned and representatives of some fifty churches met in Charleston, West Virginia, to begin formation of a network of Baptist congregations inclusive of sexual minorities. In 1993, American Baptists Concerned established the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists. A short time later, AWAB became an independent body. By the end of the millennium AWAB had 40 churches in membership from coast to coast. Today AWAB is 50 churches strong.

     ABConcerned and AWAB reunited in June 2003, and continue to cary on the ministry of both organizations.

Working for the Inclusion of All
Our Purpose and Hope ABConcerned Was Founded Upon

    The purpose of American Baptists Concerned is to unite sexual minority people and their families and friends within the ABC/USA for mutual assistance, education, support and communication. To this end we cooperate with other ABC groups, as well as groups affiliated with other denominations, in tasks of mutual interest.

    We are dismayed by the alienation and condemnation that has been evidenced when sexual minority people have sought to be an open and honorable part of the Christian fellowship of believers. We believe that Jesus Christ has promised redemption and abundant life to all humankind.

    Our hope is to persuade the ABC/USA to face honestly, aggressively and forthrightly the questions and needs of sexual minority people within the church and those driven from the church by its lack of understanding. We want to work within the church and with the church in proclaiming the Christian gospel of love, joy and reconciliation. We support the ABC/USA in its ministry and mission throughout the world as part of the universal church of Jesus Christ.

 People Helping People

Our Members A

     AWAB memberships is made up of Baptist churches, organizations and individuals throughout the United States. Our individual membership is diverse, made up of women and men, gay and non-gay of different ethnic backgrounds. We are found in the pulpits and in the pews in active support of ABC churches throughout the country. Some of us speak from public platforms while others work behind the scenes.

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Assocation of Welcoming & Affirming Baptsts


Learn More About AWAB on the Official AWAB Website.

    An organization of churches organizations and individuals inclusive and affirming of all, regardless of sexual orientation.
Our Goals and Mission

Our Ministry

Members of the Association of Welcoming & Affirming Baptists (AWAB) are churches, organizations, and individuals who are willing to go on record as welcoming and affirming all persons without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity, and who have joined together to advocate for the full inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons within Baptist communities of faith.
LGBT Religious News

LGBT Religious News

Presbyterian Church Lifts Ban on LGBT Ordinations
   Last Dismissed Church Finds New Region
   Openly Lesbian Minister to Serve Grace Baptist Church in Chicago
   Christian Service Award Presented
   Voice of the Turtle newsletter online
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