TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Last week WCBI News was first to report on the decision by a Tupelo Church to end its association with the Boy Scouts of America.
The sign still stands in front of the uncompleted structure. This building was to be the future home of Boy Scout Troop 85, which for sixty years has been sponsored by Harrisburg Baptist Church. But on July 14th, the members of Harrisburg overwhelming voted to terminate their relationship with Boy Scouts at the end of the year in response to the recent decision by the National Council of Boy Scouts to open up membership to homosexual boys. Dr. Forrest Sheffield is Senior pastor of the church.
“It’s not so much a decision against the boys as much as it is we know without question that in time there will be homosexual leadership among scout leaders.”
This rather secluded area on the church property is where Boy Scout Troop 85 has held camp outs over the years. Even though there won’t be a Troop 85 come January, the Pastor assures us there will be an alternative organization for the boys.
“The organization entitled ‘On My Honor’ I have read what this organization is basically going to stand for, the standards that they have.The guidelines that they have, the leadership that they have. And it is certainly is in line with Evangelical Christians,” says Sheffield.
Pastor Sheffield says there are 22 Troop 85 boys who can become Eagle Scouts before the end of the year. This weekend members of the troop gathered at the Mall at Barnes Crossing to help Chris Patty with his Eagle project, distributing safety tips to the public.
“Our Eagle project is one of the biggest things for getting our Eagle and we have to show alot of people in the community that we are good at scouting,” says Sheffield.
Matthew Pugh should receive his Eagle before the end of the year.
“But there are alot of boys who are unfortunately not going to be able to get their Eagle Scout in Troop 85 but they can always go to other troops to that but I think it is said they’re disbanding after this long,” says Pugh.
Sheffield says the new building will be home to whatever new boys organization replaces Boy Scout Troop 85.