The future of Boy Scout Troop 85 is up in the air after the troop’s host church, Harrisburg Baptist Church, voted not to renew the troop’s charter.
The Rev. Forrest Sheffield, pastor of the church, said the entire congregation was invited to attend and cast their vote Sunday night.
“We had around 250 present Sunday night, and the vote was very one-sided,” Sheffield said. “It was a very heartbreaking decision for all of us, for our Scouts and our church family.”
The decision by Harrisburg, the largest congregation in Northeast Mississippi, was prompted by a change in Boy Scout membership policy allowing openly gay Scouts. Sheffield said the church has been deliberating heavily and prayerfully since the Boy Scout National Council announced the change in May.