In August 2010, CT published a cover story on Beth Moore, “Why Women Want Moore: Homespun, savvy, and with a relentless focus on Jesus, Beth Moore has become the most popular Bible teacher in America.” Intensely popular among evangelical women when the story was published nearly a decade ago, Moore, a Southern Baptist, has increasingly drawn the attention of American Christians at large.

More recently, Moore has also begun speaking out on politics, sexual abuse, and the misogyny that she has experienced in the church. Her preferred platform has been Twitter, where she has nearly a million followers. Earlier this year, she tweeted that in 2016, for the first time, she was able to confront the abuses and misuses of power she had seen and experienced in the Southern Baptist denomination. Earlier this month she also provoked another controversy with some Southern Baptist leaders when discussing how she would be preaching at an upcoming church.

Yet her influence shows no sign of waning.

“I think a lot of evangelical women look to her for shaping their theological views, for understanding how to study the Bible, but then also just in general,” said Sarah Pulliam Bailey, a religion reporter for the Washington Post who wrote the Moore cover story. “She's funny and she's charismatic and quick. … She doesn't have just Southern Baptist fans; it stretches far beyond that. And if she were to somehow shift in her views, it would be a big deal. So I think she has a big voice [among Southern Baptists], but she's not just dependent on the Southern Baptist Convention.”

Pulliam Bailey joined digital media producer Morgan Lee and editor in chief Mark Galli to discuss how Beth Moore came to hold this platform, when she began to speak out on more controversial topics, and what this means for communities she’s part of.

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June 12, 2019 Transcript

Mark Galli: We're speaking with Sarah Pulliam Bailey. She's a reporter for the Washington Post. She covers how faith intersects with everything—everything—including politics, culture, and education, issues such as same-sex marriage, poverty, abortion, and the environment. Her real claim to fame, however, is the year she worked as a reporter and editor for Christianity Today.

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Sarah Pulliam Bailey: I’m at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting. There are about 8,000 people here for the meeting. They're talking about all kinds of things from race to women to sex abuse to missions and evangelism, and I'm just here to kind of be a fly on the wall.

Morgan Lee: Alright, well, let us get into our topic:

As Beth Moore walks onto the convention center stage, the crowd erupts into screams and cheers. Several snap pictures with their cameras and cellphones. It's the largest crowd the Springfield, Illinois venue has hosted, topping Elton John's appearance over a decade ago. More than 8,000 women from teenagers to senior citizens have traveled from 30 states and shelled out $60 each to watch Moore open her Bible live and in person. "Anybody just need a fresh dose of Jesus?" Moore yells. The crowd roars back.

So began Sarah Pulliam Bailey's cover story for us at CT on Beth Moore in 2010. And actually you probably realized it was 2010 once I said, "several snap pictures with their cameras and cellphones." At that time already some 666,000 had attended Moore's Living Proof Live conferences and millions had read her books. Her popularity as a Bible teacher has only grown since then.

As the author of the cover story, Sarah put it, "her stories about her big hair and self-tanner keep her audience in stitches, but also reveal her unmistakable rootedness in Southern Baptist culture. But her call to study the Bible seriously, as well as dramatic stories from her own life—sexual abuse as a child, a recent hysterectomy, giving her adopted son of back to his birth mother—have earned more a following well beyond Baptist and Southern communities."

In recent years, Moore has also begun speaking out on politics, sexual abuse and misogyny that she's experienced in the church. A recent profile of her in The Atlantic had two headlines: "The Tiny Blonde Bible Teacher Taking on the Evangelical Political Machine" and "Beth Moore, the Evangelical Superstar Taking on Trump." Through her preferred medium of choice, Moore tweeted last month what she called, "the most disturbing terrifying thing I'd ever seen."

So she said in 2016, she was able to confront for the first time the abuses and misuses of power she had seen and experienced in the Southern Baptist denomination. Moore tweeted that she was especially concerned that, as she put it, the shepherds were, "guarding other shepherds instead of guarding the sheep. Moore ended her tweet thread by affirming her desire to continue to serve in SBC, which she said she'd been doing since she was 12 at Vacation Bible School. She tweeted, "I will serve it, and this is how I'm serving it right now" at the beginning of the month. But Moore provoked another controversy with some Southern Baptists leaders when discussing how she would be preaching at an upcoming church. Southern Baptist generally frown on women preaching in churches, and this week on Quick To Listen, we wanted to discuss how Beth Moore came to hold the platform that she does, when she began to speak out more controversial topics, and what this means for the communities that she's a part of.

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Alright, so we gave a little bit of a summary of stuff, but there's obviously some stuff that we really want to delve into. And Mark, I thought today for our Quick To Listen rather than just pick a particular tweet to react to, let's maybe talk about how you've experienced Beth Moore, especially as she's become a little bit more vocal on politics, sexual abuse, and misogyny in the past couple of years.

Mark Galli: Yeah. I first became acquainted with her when I discovered that her videos were being used at an African American Bible study that my foster son's future mother-in-law was hosting, and it was a video series that was being watched by a group of upper-middle-class Episcopalian women in the western suburbs. And I thought who is this person that can appeal to both these groups? I was pretty impressed.

She did make allusions early on for many years to her sexual abuse as a young woman, but she didn't spend a lot of focus there. So what I'm hearing—okay, if I can play amateur psychologist and therapist—is her coming to grips with this and the internal anger and even rage that has been, in a sense probably in some sense fueling her ministry for many years, and I think that's probably a healthy thing. She does, you know from a perspective of journalist, I think she overplays her hand sometimes, but one can understand if she's been abused and ignored for decades about this thing why she would be speaking out so forcefully. So I admire her courage and her willingness to face and do it.

Morgan Lee: So I personally did some Beth Moore Bible studies growing up, and I would say she was my first introduction to—I don't know what to call it—like just Texas Womanhood. I don't know. I did not grow up with a lot of people who wear that much makeup and did their hair in that particular way. And we'd watch her videos and I really loved everything that she had to say even if culturally it didn't always make sense to me. But it's really been fascinating to watch her find her voice. I think one of the ways that has been uniquely fascinating is that most of the people that we look at as like the names or personalities—maybe less so in our movement, but in movements in general—are often like really young people, and it's not always that someone in their 60s is the one that's captivating everyone, especially in the ways that she's doing it. Which is like hanging out on Twitter. Which, you know, you as someone who doesn't like Twitter...

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Mark Galli: Mark. She's pointing to me everybody.

Morgan Lee: Yes, not Sarah.

Mark Galli: Rolling her eyebrows and looking down on me.

Morgan Lee: Okay, that is literally not what I'm doing. But I'm just saying, Mark. You're not holding court on Twitter all the time. And it's just been interesting to kind of watch her do that. And also for her to kind of build a community around this particular—it's not just sex abuse, but it is for a lot of Christians who really don't see themselves as being cheerleaders of Trump, for instance. And this is some of the things that she's been vocal about, even if not always naming the president—but provided space for those Christians, I think, who would still consider themselves relatively conservative in many ways, but at the same time wanting someone to kind of criticize the president and what that administration might stand for. And I think she's kind of been the de facto leader of that.

Alright, Sarah. We will get into all the stuff that we have talked about, that Mark and I have addressed in the past couple minutes. Hopefully through these questions that we have for you. But I guess my first question for you is just how did you first hear about Beth Moore?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: So my mom was a fan of Beth Moore and she enjoyed her Bible studies. And then when I was living in Green Bay, Wisconsin, when I wrote that cover story for Christianity Today, and my pastor's wife at my church said that if she did a Bible study for women that was not a Beth Moore Bible study, it was super hard to get them to come because everyone was just such a fan of Beth Moore. She just has this like personality and force and charisma that really resonates with people, that really touches especially like an older generation of women. So that's when I figured like there's something here if she's the most popular Bible teacher in the country. She's, you know, probably one of the most famous Southern Baptists in the country. And she just has an amazing following. Also, I did a cover story for Christianity Today called "50 Women to Watch," and ahead of doing that story I polled maybe over a hundred evangelical leaders and said, "who are who are the women that you're watching?" And Beth Moore was by far and away the most named person in that sort of unofficial, non-scientific survey. But she's definitely one of the most visible evangelical women in the country.

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Morgan Lee: Why do you think that Beth Moore has resonated so much with evangelical women?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: I think she does a good job of weaving back and forth between Bible and her personal narratives and stories and connecting with women on really emotional issues. I remember, women just weeping over a story she told about helping a woman through breast cancer. And she just has a way of getting at those harder issues or harder experiences. You mentioned the adoption issue that she went through, her hysterectomy, her sex abuse. Like she's willing to talk about her two girls. She's willing to kind of go there in a way that I think you might not hear from the pulpit. So I think it resonates. I think a lot of women see it as a really helpful supplement in addition to the Sunday morning preaching that they get. They get the sort of extra Bible teaching from Beth Moore.

Morgan Lee: As someone who did her Bible studies growing up, I just think it's interesting, too. Sometimes I've seen conversations where people start to like dissect what do women's Bible studies books look like. And at least the Bible study books that I did have hers, they seem to be very like thematic based. Like I never saw a picture of Beth Moore on the cover. Being like, this is Beth Moore's Bible study. But instead it was something that was like really reminding you of the scripture that you were about to work through. And she always took the Bible studies themselves extremely seriously. Like I remember just doing them and they felt extremely robust, you were really working through a lot of different parts of the Bible when you were doing them. And I felt like she was someone who was like a friend that was challenging you along the way. They never really felt to me like they were pandering at all in a way that I know that some women have felt uncomfortable about the ways that other parts of the evangelical world have pandered to them.

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Mark Galli: And I would say the emotional resonance just doesn't work for women. I remember I interviewed her once at a—what was the name of that big book conference that we used to have that we don't have it anymore? Whatever it was...

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: CBD?

Mark Galli: CBD. Yeah, exactly. So I'm talking to her, interviewing her, and she starts to tell the story about one of her boys. And you know, I'm just starting to get kind of emotionally moved by it. But I'm supposed to be the objective journalist in this room who's not supposed to be moved in this way. But just the way she just tells the story one on one is even emotionally engaging. So she's a very, very charismatic figure, for sure.

Morgan Lee: So we talked about this a little bit but I'm wondering Sarah, Mark had mentioned that she talks about the fact that sexual abuse had been in her past, but there's never been a point where she's really gotten into it more deeply. But to what extent has that changed in recent years?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: So, she was going to on a panel last night at the Southern Baptist Convention on sex abuse, and she said last night that she talked about this from the very beginning of her ministry, she included it in her first book, and so she always sort of mentions it kind of in passing, she never goes into detail, you know, she's very vague about it. She says that's for the protection of family members. But she somehow like weaves it back into her bigger message about Jesus and about the Bible. But I think it's for a lot of women, it has been such a connecting point. Like, "Wow, she's been through so much and yet she's here teaching fiercely or vibrantly or charismatically about the Bible." And I think it's given her a lot of sort of credibility in a sense. Like I said, she's been through this really difficult trauma and yet is still able to address and help other people. I think she has never been seen as sort of a sex abuse advocate in the way that like in the Catholic sex abuse scandal, we have seen a lot of survivors come out and become advocates and have really worked on kind of a legal front and push Catholic leaders to address the issue.

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And Beth Moore more recently has sort of become one of those. And in the past, I would have seen her as more of this like sweet Bible teacher, who doesn't really dive into politics very much, right? But a lot of that changed, and as you alluded to earlier, around 2016. Around the presidential election, Donald Trump, the Access Hollywood video where he bragged about sexual assault. That is when she sort of became this like lightning rod on Twitter. She became pretty like forcefully vocal about experiencing misogyny and sexism. And since then she's just emerged as this like voice on these issues. And so that's what kind of got the ball rolling for how she has become a more visible presence more than just like, oh, she's a Bible teacher.

Morgan Lee: Do you know if she was on Twitter prior to 2016?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: Yeah, I think she was, but I think it was sort of part of her bigger social media platform. Like I know she blogged. When I did that story in 2010, she's doing blogs, but I don't remember many of them really, you know, taking off in any significant way.

Morgan Lee: Yes, 2016 she said multiple times was kind of the turning point for her. Has she gone into any more depth about what exactly it was that snapped or changed?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: A little bit. You mentioned The Atlantic profile a couple months ago, and she talked about how it was just kind of a turning point. She wrote a blog post last year about the misogyny that she's experienced from evangelical leaders. And I think the #metoo movement, I don't know if she really liked was involved in that movement or would have attached herself to that, but I think it's in the sort of larger conversation about women, and abuse, and harassment, she's really like taking that and directed it at the church.

Morgan Lee: So we got into the fact that she provoked another controversy kind of recently on the subject of women preaching, but I'm wondering if we can go back before this kind of stuff that's happened on Twitter. Have there been tensions in the SBC with Beth Moore before these more recent tweets and statements?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: I think kind of in the sense that like they're always fringe-y people who are concerned or wondering. She's spoken at a popular conference called The Passion Conference, and so there have been questions, can a woman teach a man? You know, should she be in these sort of preaching roles? And she's preached in the past, but it hasn't been a lightning rod that it became fairly recently. And I think what happened was somebody tweeted at her, and this woman said, "I am preaching at my church." And Beth Moore responded to her, and said "I'm doing Mother's Day services, too." She didn't use the word preaching, but everyone sort of got up in arms over like should a woman preach during the Sunday sermons slot where men in the Southern Baptist Convention traditionally preach? So you won't see women pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention, but there are questions over should a woman teach a Sunday school class? Should they be worship ministers? What does it mean for women to have authority over men? And she sort of like reignited this long-standing debate in the last couple of weeks.

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Mark Galli: Yeah, early on she was criticized because men were showing up at her women's conferences because they wanted to listen to her. And she just said, you know, I'm not going to turn anyone away who shows up and if they want to come and listen, that's their business. So that's how she handled it early on. But now, she's obviously taking it— especially with the Passion Conference— she's taken a more a more specific role in teaching and preaching men.

Morgan Lee: Sarah, I'm curious, when do you first remember seeing something that Beth Moore did or said that surprised you?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: Um, I think it was after the Access Hollywood/ Donald Trump video. And I don't remember the specific tweet, but I just was like, oh my goodness. Especially in light of at that moment, there were a lot of evangelical leaders who were backing Trump, saying this is locker room talk. His evangelical advisors were sort of willing to overlook it or suggested it wasn't a big deal. That Beth Moore was one of the most vocal and quick to say this is not okay. It gives you an indication of, you know, the cost that she's had to incur in sort of the speaking out that she said.

Mark Galli: I know the Southern Baptist just came out with their report on sexual abuse and pastors. When did they start looking into that? And what effect has Beth Moore speaking out played in making that report move along, and well get started, move along, and finish?

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Sarah Pulliam Bailey:

My understanding is that the Southern Baptist leaders began looking into it last year. Maybe a bit before this time last spring. There are a couple of things that kind of flared up, including some allegations of rape that a Southern Baptist seminary. And that got kind of flared up the issue and they brought it to the annual meeting in Dallas last year. And there Beth Moore was on a panel addressing abuse there. So I think she was one of many of the voices sort of, you know, being outspoken on it and being willing. But I don't think she was like the driving factor, per se. J.D. Greear, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, decided to make it a priority last year and he had started getting the ball rolling and had put together an advisory board, or committee or something like that, and they had been working all year long on this report. And then earlier this year, in February, the Houston Chronicle dropped a pretty big story detailing just how widespread the sexual abuse scandal had gotten. Hundreds, I think seven hundred victims. They listed 200 leaders, Southern Baptists. You know, whether staff, volunteers, that kind of thing, perpetrators. So those were kind of moments along the way that have really propelled the Southern Baptist Convention to wrestle with this issue, but Beth Moore has become one of the—she's just such a big name. She brings credibility to the issue. So it hasn't been just her, but she's become like kind of a lightning rod within the issue.

Mark Galli: Has she commented on the new report?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: I don't think [on] the specific report. I think she just in general has been encouraged to see that—like last night, she said she was glad to see something on paper. So I think she's like, we're finally talking about this, we're finally acknowledging it, we are like formalizing it. So she did seem encouraged generally.

Morgan Lee: Yeah, I just thought I would also acknowledge the fact that our colleague Kate Chalmette did a piece that's called in the print issue at least, "Holy Rumblings" and that looks at women who are basically challenging Southern Baptist when it comes to ministry abuse. And Beth Moore is one of the people in there, but there's nine other women in here, some of them who are survivors themselves. Some of them who are not, but all of them who have advocated and pressed for reform in this particular area.

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Mark Galli: I don't know that you've had a chance to read the report yet Sarah, but our summary of it strikes me that Southern Baptists have been are pretty hard on themselves in this report.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: I mean, can you be hard on yourself when it comes to sex abuse? Like I don't know. Like, I think they lay out the facts. I think there's something to be said about expectations from either the victims or survivors or leaders. Like what are your expectations in terms of, you know, do you think this is an issue? A lot of the victims are like not surprised at all, and they are expecting a lot of action this week. And if you're a leader, it may be surprising or may be overwhelming to see it documented in such detail. So I think the expectations really kind of fuel the response.

Mark Galli: Yeah, our title is, "Report: How Southern Baptist Failed to Care About Abuse. SBC Releases Abuse Study Condemning Past Practices and Recommending New Protections." Which strikes me now, if that in fact is a fair summary of what the report does, sounds like a better, immediate response than many denominational leaders who soft-pedal it. Their first report is to soft-pedal it and it's only the second or third report that they get more honest and frank about it.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: To give you some context, there's a woman named Krista Brown who's been advocating for years for a database to be created for registered sex abuse offenders, and that has failed in motions in the past. And they're not considering that this time around, maybe they will consider it in the future. But if that gives you an indication, like women have come forward before and I don't know that they Ignored it per se but like this is the first time that they're really collectively—like leader after leader after leader in these panels are saying we have to do something about sex abuse. This is an issue. This is an issue. This is an issue. But for someone like Krista, she would say, "well, I've been telling you that for years."

Mark Galli: Yeah, exactly. I thought it was interesting, was it last year that Al Mohler kind of came around and just was thoroughly, thoroughly disgusted with what he was hearing and learning about as well. So I think there has been a sea change in the Southern Baptist denomination on this. That would be fair to say?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: So it depends on how they vote on these sort of action items, right? They're considering amending their constitution, they're considering some pretty—like depending on how you see it, some changes. And so is that just a start of a longer process that they will entail? Or are they going to do something to make a nod to it? Again it sort of about your expectations. And you know, I've heard a really mixed bag from the survivors.

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Morgan Lee: Well, I think one of the big things that's up for grabs, or that a lot of people are paying attention to, is the part about disfellowshipping churches over these things. And for people who aren't super familiar with the Southern Baptist Convention, one of the things that makes this domination unique is that congregations have a lot of autonomy in ways that is not true in other denominations. And so, this is both, kind of with regards to how these cases were often handled, where churches were not necessarily—I don't know Sarah, correct me if I'm wrong. I don't know that there was some sort of long like larger denominational protocol, but in one of the sections of this report, when they say, "we recognize failures have occurred in many areas." One of the ways that they mentioned specifically is using Church autonomy improperly to avoid taking appropriate action.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: Yes, I've heard that over and over again.

Morgan Lee: I just was going to say, because that to me time is one of the things that is really kind of persnickety in the sense that it gets at the heart of what it means to be Southern Baptist for many people, right? And what it means to relate to the head of the denomination. I don't know, when I've been reading through the different reports this year when people are talking about the database, I remember reading complaints from some of the leaders that like, "we specifically don't give the denomination that much power to do all these things" and basically like, "we don't want that much oversight." Like that's literally the point of being Southern Baptist in many ways.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: The point that I heard from a survivor was like, you know, Southern Baptists are able to cooperate on all sorts of things like missions and budgets and buying insurance and you know, why can't they cooperate on something like this? But yes, I think you struck at the heart of the question for them when it comes to church polity.

Mark Galli: And that's true of every denomination. It has its own unique polities. So for example, in the Catholic church—to take the other end of church polity—they are working very hard to eradicate, especially child abuse, in their world. But they do have to do that in the context of their actual structure. In a way that will actually preserve the great things about the structure, while also protecting victims. And that would be true, everything from the Roman Catholic to Presbyterian to Methodist to Baptist.

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Sarah Pulliam Bailey: Yeah, the Catholic bishops are actually meeting in Baltimore this week to discuss sex abuse policy. Pope Francis has recently put into place official Vatican policy on this. I mean, these are the two largest. The Catholic and Southern Baptist conventions are the largest religious denominations in the country. And they're both trying to tackle this issue head on this week.

Mark Galli: And they're both have almost diametrically opposed ideas of what it means to be a church. It'll be interesting to see how they each—they're not going to solve it. Neither of them are going to solve it this week, but it'll be interesting as it evolves how they end up addressing this. Because I think they're both convinced that it needs to be addressed, but they are trying to juggle a lot of balls in the air at the same time. So, we'll see.

Morgan Lee: I want to go back to Beth Moore for a second. One of the issues that we've looked at CT in the past couple of years is the issue of women and institutional support or lack of institutional support and how that shapes their ministry. Correct me if I'm wrong but Living Proof Ministries is basically Beth Moore. And in many extent, she's been able to gain the platform that she is because she created her own place to do so, which is something that we kind of seen consistently, if I'm correct. And I only say that in that like I'm not aware of any other women who are currently leading any other Southern Baptist institutions, including seminaries but also stuff like their big publishing house, Lifeway, or even something like Lifeway Research, which is one of their big data collecting organizations. Is that fair to say that she also occupies this unique space, because women have almost been shut out of every way, they could come up through some of the more traditional institutions?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: It is interesting. I've made a little bit of the unofficial contrast to the Catholic church because they have a similar sort of complementarian view. You don't have women priests, but they have women leaders at their Catholic Health Association. They have women, you know, nuns running hospitals and educational institutions. Whereas I think for complementarian evangelical women, it has been difficult to go through official structures to become leaders. But they've been very entrepreneurial, like Beth Moore, in creating their own worlds almost.

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Morgan Lee: Because I guess she's the leader of her own ministry in many ways, and given that she doesn't necessarily have an agenda to stick through— I just think again of like if you're the head of a seminary for instance, there are things that you will say as being the head of a seminary—how do you think that she will continue to play a role in terms of determining the conversation and priorities of her fellow Southern Baptists?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: I think that's a good question. She seems really strategic and thinking about when to speak, on what. And, you know, I think even though a lot of the attention was paid to her this past week, she ended up deflecting a lot of attention on to others. I think that's part of her goal is, "okay, focus on me for a hot second and then I'm going to tell you about another person." In last night's panel, she was sitting next to another abuse survivor, who was abused in Birmingham, who doesn't, you know, have a name that we would all know, but Beth Moore just kept nodding to her and almost passing her mantle to this other woman. And so I think we might continue to see that. She also fairly recently addressed racial reconciliation issues, and I've been curious if that will come up in the future. I don't know when or how. I don't know if she will address immigration since she lives in Texas. So I don't know. I think that's something I'll be watching in the coming years.

Morgan Lee: So beyond Southern Baptists, who does Beth Moore represent? And what communities is she important to?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: I think a lot of evangelical women look to her for shaping their theological views, for understanding how to study the Bible, but then also just in general. Like she's funny and she's charismatic and quick. I mean, last night after this panel, it's a panel of like four or five individuals, and the women just—like the young 20-something women—just flocked to her and just waited in line for like an hour to hug her and take photos of her. She doesn't have just that Southern Baptist fans, it stretches far beyond that. And if she were to somehow shift in her views, it would be a big deal. So I think she has a big voice here, but she's not just dependent on the Southern Baptist Convention.

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Morgan Lee: Yeah, it definitely seems like if her books are the most popular selling books for Lifeway, then obviously they've kind of just transcended just this one particular denomination. And I don't even know how much I was aware of Southern Baptists even when I was doing her Bible study books.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: Yeah. She also publishes with Tyndale, which is the more I believe nondenominational publisher. And if that gives you a sense, she's sort of non-denominational too in her outreach, I guess.

Morgan Lee: You talked about her being really personable. For people who aren't viewing her on Twitter, I think it's also pretty rare for someone that has nearly 1 million followers to be as personable with the people that follow her, and as engaged in having conversations with people as she is.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: Yeah, I think in some ways, you know, it's easy to build a personality and a following on social media, but it's not just she started a Twitter account and accumulated these followers. She's had a huge following for decades now. Like this isn't an overnight thing. And so when she speaks, she speaks to women who have been following her for decades, and I think that's partly why this is interesting. Is that she fairly later-ish in her career as having this sort of moment of reckoning.

Morgan Lee: Yeah, I think you were just now hinting at this, but I guess if we're going to sign off like you're talking to a traditional reporter, what's next? What are the storylines that we could follow when it comes to Beth Moore?

Sarah Pulliam Bailey: Like I said, I think I'll be watching to see if she speaks more on racial reconciliation and next year with the 2020 election. You know, is she going to play some kind of role in swaying evangelical opinion? I don't know. Like does she have that kind of sway? I don't know, but I'll be watching.