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Queen on leave from pastoral duties following indictment

GREENSBORO, N.C. (BP) — Friendly Avenue Baptist Church announced Sunday morning that lead pastor Matt Queen will go “on administrative leave from his pastoral responsibilities.” The announcement comes days after Queen was charged with one count of falsifying records “in connection with falsified notes Queen produced to the FBI related to an ongoing federal investigation.”

The statement from the church reads:

“Our church leaders and staff were first informed of a falsification of records charge against our Lead Pastor, Dr. Matt Queen, in recent days. The actions alleged in the indictment oppose the moral values of Friendly Avenue Baptist Church, and we condemn all forms of sexual abuse. Dr. Queen has committed to resolve this matter responsibly, and we support his full cooperation with the authorities. To this end, Dr. Queen is on administrative leave from his pastoral responsibilities. He will step away to devote his attention to his family and to assist authorities in their inquiry. As Dr. Queen steps away, we will secure other speakers to fill the pulpit on Sundays. In parallel, the church will continue to monitor events closely.”

The charges relate to a federal investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention that included Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary during the time Queen was serving as interim provost at the school. Investigators say he withheld knowledge of a document about an allegation of sexual abuse connected to Southwestern. Furthermore, investigators said, Queen knowingly provided false information in the form of a notebook.

In response to the charges, Queen pleaded not guilty saying “as a Christian, a (former) seminary professor, and now a pastor, my integrity is everything to me and I will cling to that integrity and seek to be vindicated by God and man. Until that day, I do not intend to comment or discuss this matter further. I covet your prayers for me and my family.”

Queen was called as pastor of Friendly Avenue in February 2024 following his 14-year tenure at Southwestern Seminary.

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