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Broadway Baptist pastor leaving after months of infighting

FORT WORTH -- After surviving months of bitter infighting over the philosophical direction of his church, the Rev. Brett Younger, senior pastor at Broadway Baptist Church, is stepping down to work on the faculty of a divinity school in Atlanta.

Younger, 47, is going to work at McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University in Atlanta. Members of the church leadership were told about his resignation earlier this week. His last day at Broadway Baptist will be June 8.

"I am pleased at this opportunity to be part of an outstanding faculty," Younger said. "I feel like the Spirit is leading me to this new ministry. I am also sad at leaving Broadway."

Kathy Madeja, chairwoman of the deacon board, said Younger will announce his resignation to the congregation on Sunday and that her board will meet Monday to consider the next steps for hiring a new head pastor.Madeja had nothing but praise for Younger, who originally came to work at the church in 2001.

"Brett has worked tirelessly as the pastor of Broadway Baptist Church," Madeja said. "Brett and I have worked closely through some difficult times at Broadway. I have a great appreciation for his love of Broadway and its ministries."

Younger's announcement comes about a month after he survived a vote to "vacate the pulpit" after months of unrest over his leadership, including a debate over how to show gay members in a pictorial directory.

Broadway has a long history of being a leader in moderate Baptist circles. Near downtown, it has about 1,500 members.