The Perfecting Church, home to famed gospel singer and Pastor Marvin Winans, is having a special dedication ceremony for the congregation’s youngest members on Sunday. Charity Grace, a Detroiter who recently started attending services at the church on East Nevada Street, wanted her only son, two-year-old Joshua Grace, to share in the blessings.
“I want to instill values and morals in my son based upon the word of God,” she told Fox 2 Detroit.
But when she called Perfecting Church on Tuesday to sign up Joshua for the ceremony, Charity said she was told by a woman elected in the church that Pastor Winans has a strict policy — he won’t bless the babies of unwed mothers in front of the congregation, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
Grace said she felt degraded by the pastor’s decision. She’s hoping he reconsiders, even if it means having her son dedicated during the week by a church elder.
Until then, she told Fox 2 Detroit she has no plans to return to Perfecting Church.
“I absolutely would not set foot back in the church right now because I feel like they look down upon me and my kind, meaning single moms and unwed mothers,” Grace said.
Pope Francis recently said in May that the Catholic Church should bless children born out of wedlock, because their mothers chose life over abortion.
“’Look at this girl who had had the courage to carry her pregnancy to term. … “What does she find? A closed door,” he said, according to Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. “This is not good pastoral zeal, it distances people from the Lord and does not open doors.”
Dr. Jacqui Lewis is the Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan’s East Village. She told The Huffington Post she was surprised that a child “of any kind” would be denied a blessing from a church, and referenced the Gospel of Mark, 10:10-16:
“People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”
“You want to know what the Kingdom of God is like?” she asked. “Check out the children. Check out their innocence, check out their wide eyed wonder, check out their acknowledgement that they are dependent on others.”
Dr. Lewis also noticed something else — the little boy from Perfecting Church who was denied a blessing is named Joshua. “You know, Jesus’s name is really Joshua,” she said. “Joshua is Jesus’s namesake, and Jesus was born to a mother just like this mother.”
The pastor is a member of the Winans family, one of America’s most famous gospel clans. He’s released several albums with the Perfecting Church choir and is a recurring member on “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” Winans also memorably delivered the eulogy at Whitney Houston’s funeral in 2012. He was carjacked and assaulted outside a Detroit gas station in 2012.
While Dr. Lewis has never met Winans, she said she believes he’s a man with a “real heart for Jesus’s people.” She told The Huffington Post she hopes to someday have coffee with Winans to talk about the issue of withholding blessings.
“The way we think about God and the way we think of what God wants us to do … I think that happens in relationships,” she said.
What do you think? Is Pastor Winans right to refuse to bless the children of unwed mothers?
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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