Christian speaker and author Beth Moore has issued a plea for unity in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) as it continues to wrangle over women preachers.
Moore said on Twitter that she felt compelled to speak out on the issue because of the "infighting", which she called an "enormous waste of energy".
She has found herself at the centre of the row after an invitation to speak at a Mother's Day service last May prompted criticism from some in the SBC.
Then last November, pastor John MacArthur attacked women preachers and specifically Moore in a sermon during the Truth Matters Conference.
He said that women preachers were a "disgrace" and that Moore should "go home".
"Go home! There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion," he said at the time.
Appealing for peace, Moore suggested on Twitter on Sunday that the issue had been blown out of proportion as she accused some in the SBC of "witch hunting" female speakers.
"There are no women trying to take over SBC pulpits, least of all me. It's a straw woman. One woman speaking on Mother's Day 2019 does not a takeover make. PEACE," she said.
"This infighting over women preaching in the SBC is a distraction & an enormous waste of energy. Be honest about what these fights are over. Perhaps my memory fails me in old age but I thought we were gospel people, all sent out to share the good news of salvation through Christ."
She went on to say that the SBC should "make a place" for women.
"I will indeed speak occasionally in services on Sundays when asked by a church, depending upon the occasion & pastor's request. If that's a deal breaker, hold me responsible. Don't hold my gender hostage over it. These women are brilliant. Gospel carriers. Make a place for them," she said.
"Truly, that's the last thing I hope to say as an insider. As I watch the devil tear apart a denomination I loved so much & served so long, witch hunting, & so in need of a fight they have to make infidels out of Jesus loving, Scripture-believing people, it's hard to be silent."