The largest Protestant denomination in the country kicked off their annual conference in Dallas on Tuesday amid growing calls for change.
The internal struggle within the Southern Baptist Convention stems from how the organization has handled allegations of abuse towards women.
The SBC started inside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, even as some members participated in a protest outside the event on Tuesday.
Organizers of the "For Such a Time As This" Rally are calling for the SBC to "respect and honor" women in the church, as well as a sex offender database for the Southern Baptist Convention.
The group is also calling for mandatory training for pastors on domestic abuse and sexual assault.
The SBC is slated to vote on 16 resolutions, including one on abuse that formally encourages victims of abuse to contact the police and leave their abusers.
Fort Worth pastor Paige Patterson was fired from the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary last month after allegations surfaced that he encouraged a woman not report a rape allegation and that he counseled a woman to remain with her spouse, even after receiving an abuse report.