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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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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