State's largest Baptist group elects first woman leader

Photo: Baptist General Convention of Texas
Photo: Baptist General Convention of Texas

AMARILLO, Texas (AP) - The nation's largest Baptist convention has elected its first female president.

Retired missionary Joy Fenner of Garland has been elected president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. She defeated West Texas preacher David Lowrie by 60 votes, 900 to 840.

The organization is the state's largest Baptist group with 5,600 affiliated congregations and more than 2.3 million members.

It has become increasingly distant from Southern Baptist leaders, some of whom have issued declarations that women should not be pastors and that wives should "graciously submit" to their husbands.