Black Couple Says Racism Forced Wedding Relocation

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  • JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi couple says the church where they planned to get married turned them away because they are black.

    Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson say they had set the date and mailed invitations, but the day before their wedding they say they got bad news from the pastor of predominantly white First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs: Some members of the church complained about the black couple having a wedding there.

    The Wilsons, who live in nearby Jackson, said they attend the church regularly although they are not members.

    Pastor Stan Weatherford told WLBT TV he was surprised when a small number of church members opposed holding the wedding at the church.

    "This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that," said Weatherford.

    Weatherford performed the July 21 ceremony at another church.

    "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," said Weatherford.

    WLBT reported that church officials now say they welcome any race. They plan to hold internal meetings on how to move forward.

    Church member Casey Kitchens said she and other members of the congregation are outraged by the church's refusal to marry a black couple, a decision she says most of the congregation knew nothing about.

    "This is a small, small group of people who made a terrible decision," Kitchens told The Clarion-Ledger. "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."

    "I blame the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, I blame those members who knew and call themselves Christians and didn't stand up," said Charles Wilson.

    Wilson told the newspaper that he understands Weatherford was caught in a difficult position and he still likes the pastor, but he also thinks the pastor should have stood up to the members who didn't want the couple to marry in the church.

    "It's not reflective of the spirit of the Lord and Mississippi Baptists," the Mississippi Baptist Convention executive director, the Rev. Jim Futral, said. "It's just a step backward. … It's a sad thing."
     

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    11 thoughts on “Black Couple Says Racism Forced Wedding Relocation

    1. Last time I checked there were plenty black baptist churches in Jackson, Mississippi. It is ironic that the Church is still the most segregated institution in America today, but this is the very reason why. The pastor of this church is very weak, because if he were a strong pastor it would not matter what a few ungodly members think. He should have done what God called him to do and not give in to Satan and a handful of bigots. It is obvious that he did not pray over the matter or we wouldn’t be commenting about it here on this post. To the black couple I would say go find a good black church in the city where you are welcomed with no questions asked and Jesus Christ is preached.

    2. I would not be where I am not welcome. I don’t know why black folks go to predominately white churches. They do not want folks of color there. If I were the pastor, I would resign, or the people who had an issue with blacks being married there, should be asked to go worship at the House of the Klan.

    3. Yes, this just might qualify as a racist act. But the fact is that while the couple attended the church, they were not members. With that being the case, the members could have denied them outright without any repercussions. There are many churches out there, both black and white that have strict rules against no members using their facilities for weddings or even funerals. If these folks had told the couple from the beginning that couldn’t marry there because of a membership issue, that’s one thing, but to get together and discuss a black wedding near the date of the event is quite another. If I was this pair, I’d demand any money paid to hold the event back and walk my tithes and offerings over to a church that doesn’t have a problem with African Americans

    4. Ok, now why would the church leaders need to meet in order to decide how they will allow black weddings in their church???? Is it me, or is certain parts of American society getting crazier and crazier???? God doesn’t look at color of the skin, but rather the determination of the heart that you will stay with that partner for the rest of your life no matter how good, bad or ugly things get.

    5. This pastor should have done more than stood up to his congregation. With a christian heart he should have challenged them by allowing the couple marry in the church and for those who objected he should have shown them the door.

    6. I really don’t understand how this couple could want to married by a pastor who did not stand up to his racist congregation and show them what a christian heart is. A christian heart does not see color. A christian heart sees people who are in love and want to honor that love by claiming it in front of God and all of God’s people. The pastor did not honor hisself, this couple or God, by allowing them to change their venue. The pastor should have insisted that they marry in the church and then told all those people who objected that maybe they should find a different church because racism will not be tolerated in the house of God. This couple should have stood up and refused to change their venue. We’ve become a people to compliant. We have more strength and pride than this. I don’t understand how they would let this man marry them, the flock doesn’t fall far from its shepherd.

    7. I really don’t understand how this couple could want to married by a pastor who did not stand up to his racist congregation and show them what a christian heart is. A christian heart does not see color. A christian heart sees people who are in love and want to honor that love by claiming it in front of God and all of God’s people. The pastor did not honor hisself, this couple or God, by allowing them to change their venue. The pastor should have insisted that they marry in the church and then told all those people who objected that maybe they should find a different church because racism will not be tolerated in the house of God. This couple should have stood up and refused to change their venue. We’ve become a people to compliant. We have more strength and pride than this. I don’t understand how they would let this man marry them, the flock doesn’t fall far from its shepherd.

    8. Racism will always be present in America. The couple should have known beforehand that some whites would have opposed them using their church. These same whites also more than likely opposed them attending their church in the first place. There are MANY black churches in the state that would’ve welcomed them.

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    10. Personally, I would of left that church. The pastor didn’t look out for the Black couple and there’s some racist White folk among the flock. That’s two bad signs to leave that church!!!!

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