A couple in Jackson, Mississippi were forced to relocate churches the day before their wedding after the pastor notified them that some church members were uncomfortable having a black couple married there.
The First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, which is predominantly white, does not expressly forbid people of color. Pastor Stan Weatherford said he was surprised by the reaction but felt that it was important to pass the message along to Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson.
I didn't want to have a controversy within the church, and I didn't want a controversy to affect the wedding of Charles and Te'Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day.
Weatherford ended up performing the ceremony at another church.
Meanwhile, the First Baptist Church is holding internal meetings to figure out a course of action. None of the members seem to want to step forward and admit that they were part of the campaign to have the wedding moved. Apparently only five or six members were involved.
After the fact, however, several members say they do not approve of the decision, which they didn't know about at the time. Church member Casey Kitchens spoke to the Clarion Ledger.
This is a small, small group of people who made a terrible decision. I'm just ashamed right now that my church would do that. I can't fathom why. How unfair. How unjust. It's just wrong.
Pastor Weatherford agrees that it's not what Christ would have done. And Reverend Jim Futral, Mississippi Baptist Convention Executive Director, called it a "step backward."
Te'Andrea Wilson has been attending the First Baptist Church for more than a year. Her father also attended the church, and her uncle was a custodian there. The Wilsons called the controversy "devastating."
[Image via Shutterstock]