Pastor Marvin Winans Refuses to Bless Babies of Unwed Mothers

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  • 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:

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    78 thoughts on “Pastor Marvin Winans Refuses to Bless Babies of Unwed Mothers

    1. Yes, he was wrong for not praying for a child because the mother was not married. The ministers of today have lost their minds thinking they are above sin. God continues to bless them. Mr. Winans could not pray for a child. Please. What is his excuse? No sin is greater than the other. My oh my. When Jesus comes back and we all have to face judgement day, what a sad day it will be.

      • TJ, you are on-point regarding the pastor!!! The Bible [John 16:7] differs with your belief that Jesus will return. According to John 16:7, 13, Jesus informs the world that another ONE will come AFTER him, named the “Comforter” who “will guide us into ALL TRUTH.”

        • My Church had the same type of “baby dedications” as this church. One service was held before the entire congregation including the “YOUNG PEOPLE”, to set a good example for the “YOUTH”, and another service was held for anyone else who wanted a “baby dedication”. The entire purpose for the different services was to set a good role model for the African-American YOUTH. The young woman was never denied a “baby dedication”, she just did not want to have it in the other service, which was her prerogative, BUT for her to LIE and say that she was denied a “baby dedication”, is just a “BLATANT LIE” on her part.

          There are 3,000 families at Perfecting, and “ALL OF THEIR CHILDREN” have been dedicated, both MARRIED and UNMARRIED, BUT for her to think that a Church should change its order of services to make an exception for one person, when 3,000 other people had the exact same “baby dedication” that she would have had is just absolutley absurd.

        • Min. E.Jones, the problem to this subject are in your own words, “My Church”. It’s NOT your Church is the IMPETUS to making PERSONAL decisions in the Church which are NOT of GOD. The Church is to be GDD’s CHURCH, not your Church. Having SEPERATE “baby dedications” is NOT of GOD, but a concoction of man’s MISREPRESENTATION of GOD.

        • In the 30 years of our Pastor’s tenure, he changed an average 7 out 10 African-American teen pregnancy rate in the church, to less than 3 out 10, by changing their attitude about unwed pregnancy and setting good examples before them.

          Although, some felt that his methods were strict, it changed hundreds of young lives, and as a result of the standards that were taught, instead of 7 out of 10 young people having “baby dedications” they went to college. OPINIONS are great, but RESULTS are better. Only a true leader can make that kind of difference in peoples lives. I truly, Applaud Perfecting for making a difference.

        • Min.E.Jones, JESUS was born out of “Wedlock” therefore under your & Rev. Winans’ “baby dedication” Mary & Jesus would be Excluded as well As such, you & Rev. Winans ERROR in your personal understanding of the Holy Scriptures. I follow JESUS, not man’s personal understanding of the Holy Scriptures. King Solomon, born out of Adultery, would also be Excluded from your & Min. Winans’ “baby dedication” proves again, your personal understanding on this subject pleases the world, is not of GOD.

    2. The latest US statistics reveal that African-Americans are suffering from an epidemic of out-of wedlock births.

      The statistics show the African-American out-of wedlock birth rate at 72.2%
      White-Americans at 29.4%
      Asian-Americans at 17.1%

      We need parents, pastors, and educators, to address the systemic causes of this problem, and change it for the future of our youth.

      • @ Min. E.Jones: BE FRUITFUL & MULTIPLY is not an “epidemic”. African-Americans are complying to GOD’s Instruction to us in Gen. 1:28; “BE FRUITFUL & MULTIPLY and replenish the earth.”

    3. When I became a christian some 30 yrs ago, the church that I attended had a Pastor with the same policy about baby dedications. The church was located in an inner-city community with a high 60% african american teen-age pregnancy rate. Most of the youth who attended our church from that community, came from families where their mother had never been married, their father had never been married, their grandmother had never been married, their grandfather had never been married, their aunts had never been married, their uncles had never been married, brothers, sisters, cousins, etc., etc., etc. The majority of their neighborhoods were single mother households, as was the rest of the community.

      The Pastor decided that the only way that these young people were ever going to see marriage and family was if they saw a role model in church. Not only did he teach marriage and family, but used every opportunity to model the example before the youth. On baby dedication day, one service was held before the entire congregation, including the youth, for married couples, and a another later service for anyone who wanted a baby dedication, but not including the youth. This ensured that all children were dedicated, but that the right role model was given to the youth to reinforce the teaching of the importance of marriage and family, instead of generations of teen-age pregnancy, absentee fathers, poverty, and welfare. By the time this Pastor retired, it was noticed by everyone, how few youth in his church had out of wed-lock births, or high school drop out rate, compared to other churches in the area.

      The young people grew up looking forward to graduating, getting married, and having children because the Pastor set a standard before them, that was missing in their lives, which is what they so desperatley needed. I am sure that this is the goal of this church, as well.

    4. I’m 49 yo. My daughter’s 12 and I’m a never wed single parent. When I was planning my daughters christening – my mom told me my actions made my daughter unworthy. Even though I was 39 – it hurt something awful. I had planned to ask my brother and sister in law to be my daughters godparents and felt more than embarassed because I didn’t realize there was such a rule. I did ask a friend of mine to bless my child. I never got over it and with this article have decided to explain to my brother and sister in law what happened. My relationship has never been the same with the church or any church since that time.

    5. People should learn to study the word for themselves, so they can understand that God doesn’t condemn children born out of wedlock, or their parents. We spend too much time judging one another based on church doctrine, instructions, or our law. The law is good … for living by, not to judge by. A lot of the religious stuff people say is the word of God, is just instructions handed down by religious groups or people — that is how you end up with preachers refusing to receive children. How far off we have gone. Maybe the answer is to stop putting so much stock into preachers. The young lady, and all the rest of us, should try finding an elder in our family or midst for blessings. Do you really believe that a man that would refuse one of Gods little ones is capable of blessing anyone?

    6. I’m sorry did I miss something because i don’t see a comment made form him at all. So how are people stating what he believes or about his past. I don’t believe I’ve ever heard him say he was perfect nor do i believe he’s past has anything to do with this. Divorce and being unwed or totally different. If you don’t know a person you shouldn’t speak on their character.

    7. This headline is so misleading. The article says Pastor Winans will not bless babies born out of wedlock in front of the congregation. It never says he will not bless the babies. Blessing babies born out of wedlock before the congregation could give the impression that the church condones pre marital sex and/or fornication — which the Bible clearly calls sin. This young lady needs to check her heart and her motivations. If it were really God that she was seeking, why go to the media and attempt to embarass Pastor Winans and the ministry he founded? All churches have rules, and there are plenty of churches in Detroit. If she did not like the rules at Pastor Winans’s church, then leave and find another one, but don’t go on a smear campaign.

      • I totally agree with you on this one. I had my kid out of wedlock and I didnt even think to go before the church for my child to get blessed. I prayed continously to the Lord for forgiveness and blesing of my child. No pastor is needed for it! Seek the Lord yourself!

      • This young lady needs to find a pastor that allows God to do his job (bringing judgement) an the pastor needs to stick to doing his job (bringing people to God).

      • The person or persons reading or watching this story will now be careful not to waste their time in being prejudged by Winans’ church. Yes, all churches have rules and now we know the rules at Winans’.
        I do not believe Jesus would have said a child does not deserve a blessing. (Saul, Samuel, Peter, (including MYSELF) were “flawed” but God used them!)
        Although no pastor or church can save souls, they do have a duty to direct them. Jesus said he was “seeking” those who were in need and this mother had a need but was turned away.
        What a way to encourage people to come to the Lord! (SMH)

      • @speech_lady: By virtue of Mary, mother of Jesus, being UNWED, which is TRUE, results in GOD or Holy Ghost committed ADULTERY or FORNICATION, being a direct VIOLATION of HIS OWN Commandment.

    8. Pastor Winans is putting the onous on the mother. He won’t go after the unwed father. It’s easy to go after her to make a point. This mother is trying to offer her child up to God, not to a man or a congregation. Jesus said suffer the little children to come unto me. Unlike Pastor Winans, Jesus didn’t specify, he didn’t discriminate he meant all children. Pastor Winans needs to approach what he sees as a problem by looking at it through the eyes of Christ. Love people to right living. Teach responsibility both on the part of the man and the woman. Don’t just preach it to women. Preach the sanctity of virginity and marriage before sexual intercourse. Don’t do it by oppressing single mothers.

    9. Her decision to make her issue public speaks volumes of her character. Because she is offended by the established rules of this church, she retaliates by informing everyone about how she was rejected.

      Yes, single mothers work hard to provide for their children. I love my Mother for working 2 sometimes 3 jobs to provide for all 6 of us. Yet, the structure of the biblical family, that is supposed to be a reflection of God, is a two parent home with a mother and father. Look around your community, your state, our country. All are broken because the foundation, home, is broken. The church is relaying the message of the Word to honor the family structure. We have a lot of unwed mothers/father who are having children without taking into consideration about what it takes to raising that child. It’s a lot more than finances. The mother has a role to play and it’s not (and can never be) the role of a father.

      I’m thinking this is the message the church is trying to send; no intent to hurt anyone. I applaud this church for sticking to the rules. She is offended and wants other single mothers to be offended too.

      Another trick of the enemy. Yall better see this for what it really is…

      • Well was it or is it a secret? She should be able to scream it from the roof tops and it bother no one but her if there is nothing wrong with what was said or done to her. If the pastor feels that he is right in his stand then he should have went to the media so that he can let everyone know how he feels just like when he goes through the media to preach his sermons. Oh but that’s okay because it’s also how he makes money. She has her rights just like he has his.

    10. It’s decisions like this that turn people away from the church. I would say to the young lady, find another church home but in the meantime, start teaching your son about the Lord’s grace and mercy right your own home. Where 2 or 3 are gathered in my name….

    11. The pastor has a good point, in that he wants children to be born within the bonds of marriage. However, it is not his place to embarrass this woman.No one should be having children without being married. The black community has begun to think that this is ok; but it’s not. No one should have unprotected sex; no one. Woman and men should both take responsibility for their actions.

      • Nope the black community does not and the black community does not have a monopoly on unwed mothers. Do your research before you go dragging the black community down further than they already are. There are just as many unwed mothers in the other races as there are in the black. Blacks just have less abortions.

    12. If you all read the “entire” article and your BIBLE you might understand his reasoning. He refused to bless the child in front of the congregation. He will bless the child just not in front of the congregation. It seems like the mother is more concern with holding her child up in front of everyone rather than receiving a blessing. The sins of the parents are passed on to the next generation. It seems the mother’s goal is to get attention. The first thing she did was run to the news media. If you don’t like the pastor of a particular church there are plenty other ones in any city to choose from. Pray about it and keep searching. Do not let one incident keep you from the Lord if that is what you are seeking…..just my thoughts.

      • I am not for sure if he refused to do it during a different service, but the mother made the comment that she would be ok with another Elder of the church doing it during another service… Leads you to believe that he denied her having her son blessed at all.

    13. I know GOD didn’t tell him that cause GOD LOVES a our children but when he try 2 get into those pearly gates I want 2 know what he is going 2 tell our GOD why he didn’t bless the little children…………..SAD……..THE WINANS FAMILY R GOING DOWN!!!!!!!!!!!

    14. Why is the child being punished for the sins of the mother and father. I don’t know the situation but Winans decision is just straight out wrong. Let’s hope he doesn’t need a blessing in the future.

    15. It is a shame when we are so quick to judge others. I disagree and I hope he has a change of heart and welcomes them with open arms. His job is to minister, however, we all fall short. Hopefully, he has a change of heart.

      • If the saying goes, “Only God can judge”, and the ministers represent Gods word and will. Then how is it you feel they can’t judge anyone.I’m a Muslim and I have no idea who this man is but I did read that he would bless the child another day and time, just not in front of the congregation. I think its fine to judge people because standards for morality and goodness need to be set.The ones that say DON’T JUDGE are always the ones doing wrong and don’t want to be judged, or they feel they don’t have the right to judge because they are equal in their flaws. Plus she could go to another church or marry the father and have a family and do things in the correct manner. Not smear people because you got called on your ways.

        • Or he could just simply do his job, bless the child and we can all move on to something else. I don’t judge people because I don’t know them well enough to know their struggles just as that MAN, the pastor don’t know her or her struggles. That is why we as man shouldn’t judge.

    16. It is not the kids fault period. In some Catholic and Muslim countries you can’t even work in the government if you are a basterd or for that matter hold office. This is the USA and we have had several good presidents from Jackson to Clinton and maybe even Obama who fit this so lets not judge let God do that.

    17. Under most circumstances I would say that this is the wrong move on pastor Winans part. But considering how we seem to have a cavalier attitude about unwed mothers and not being married before we have children I’m in agreement with him. We have to many unwed mothers who continue to have child after child after child by various fathers. This woman should feel degraded and correct her attitude and shore up the holes in her personal life! Children need to be born into a loving family with their father and their mother MARRIED and living according to God’s good plan! If you’re not married you shouldn’t be having sex and if you are you should be using proper protection to insure against unexpected pregnancies! Responsibility is the key word here and this woman is being irresponsible! If she wanted to raise her child with God’s values then she should have been married BEFORE she had a child! It’s a shame that the child is caught up in this but as it is innoccents always suffer when someone chooses to be irresponsible!

      • @Daniel Asamota: You forget, Mary, mother of Jesus, was not married when she was impregnated by the Holy Ghost or God….Mary was a teen-age pregnancy, who was facing to be stoned to death, because Mary was in violation of the law of adultery……

        • IDK if you read the bible or not (obviously not) you would know that even if you believe Jesus was of a virgin birth from Mary. You would know that she was promised to be wed to Joseph. So he still would have gotten a blessing. She is single. I’m sure if she had a child out of wedlock but married a man then the child would’ve been blessed. She needs to get her life together.

      • So many negative comments about single mothers or unwed as you’d like to call them but no mention of the other half that created this child and DID NOT WED THE MOTHER. Seems to me that our real problem is sorry ass men that refuse to wear a condom even when they KNOW they do not want to be responsible for another life. I’m sure if it was the choice of the young women she’d be married to the male that she conceived with. And please don’t give me that bullshit about the women choosing a loser as if that id how he presented himself. MEN IT”S TIME TO MAN UP & THE COMMUNITY SHOULD HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE!!! Hell I bet most of you up here bashing this young lady was raised by a single mother. We should be praising her for doing her part in the child’s life instead of bashing her.If you wanna trash some trash the douche bags that don’t wanna wear a condom.

    18. Now it’s the children fault the parents aren’t married. Give me a break so the children are not going to be accepted in the eyes of the lord who are you to judge. Take your children elsewhere.

    19. Judged: keep reading the scripture; we are to hold each other accountable. Yes these women decide to have these babies but they also decide to make the choices before the baby gets here. Times have changed but this further supports the breakdown of the family. We continue to see the degredation of society primarily because of this never ending trend of having babies out of wedlock. What ever happened to getting to know someone, getting married, establighing a household, then starting a family? The problem is that the firm foundation is not laid then everyone gets out of shape when defects in the house are found.

      • Did she also decide to snatch out that males penis and forbid him to wear a condom. Get out of here with that sexist shit. That man made a decision as well but ran from his responsibilities. She didn’t.

    20. She doesn’t need the blessing of a pastor or anyone. She needs to just love her child. No one here knows her financial situation. She could be well to do. And marriage does not guarantee anything. Be careful who you follow, people.

    21. Thank God for Jesus Christ! For all of you who agree with Mr. Winans that would allow him if true to make a difference I don’t know what bible you read or what God you serve but mine is a loving just God who would never have allowed this to occur. Do you know what it meant for him to be on that Cross and endure all that punishment/hell He went through, I don’t think you do so let me give you a short version, when he died so did our sins, We are no longer governed by the Law an eye for an eye, stoned to death, etc… Because we live under GRACE. AND WE DID NOTHING TO GET IT OR DESERVE IT as long as you believe, He Lived, He Died and He Rosed guess what even you can enter into Heaven with that lil baby who could NOT even get a blessing in front of the congregation by a MERE MAN! The state in which that child was born should never have been asked nor an issue. How dare anyone think they have the right to make such a horrific judgement call. If God judged like man YOU ME NONE OF US WOULD MAKE IT INTO HEAVEN…So here’s a message for you all the HOUSE of the FATHER is open to any and everyone because The FATHER loves us ALL AND BLESSES US ALL…PLEASE TAKE SOME TIME & READ YOUR BIBLE & STOP BELIEVING EVERYTHING MERE MAN SAY…SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES FOR YOURSELF…LEAST YOU BE JUDGED!!!

    22. What is he doing about the fathers that walked away from their responsibilities? IS he schooling them to become family men? (apparently not) It’s not about the mothers, it’s about the children, and those who would turn on the kids this way are not worthy of their station up in that pulpit. I left my church when the pastor would not baptize children of single mothers. I don’t have kids, but that line of thinking is wrong and indicative of a questionable personality, so I left, as did many others. I hope this man gains one empty pew after another!

    23. Winans is way out of order. A lot of church people are so judgemental these days but people have gotta remember to distinguish the difference between church people and Kingdom people. Church people are the ones that are judging Kingdom people imitate the true likeness of Yeshua of Nazareth.

    24. Self Righteous hypocrites like this self proclaimed man of God is the reason why lots of people stay
      away from the church. Sooner or later he is going to make the headlines…the self righteous asses always do

      • @Jiggy5: MARY, Mother of Jesus Was Not Married When She Was Knocked-Up By GOD or Holy Ghost: You forget Mary, mother of Jesus, was knocked-up by GOD, out of Wedlock, then came Joseph to save Mary from being stoned to death, which was the law at the time.

    25. Again it is people as him in that positon that are so disgusting to me as he thinks he is GOD ALMIGHTY AND DO SOMETHING HE FEELS IS RIGHT GO GIVE YOUR BROTHER THAT PHONY BLESSING !

    26. Winans must think their S**T does not STINK. this child did not do anything but bring. JOY to his mother and to be TREATED this way by that man is DAM DISGUSTING.!

    27. PASTOR DEMOTED: Painful to read; that dirty-low-down-stupid-IMPERSONATOR-of-a-man-of-GOD should be immediately DEMOTED, stripped of ALL pastoral duties & should be required to openly apologize to the mother for the misrepresentation of GOD. [See Mark 10:13-16].

    28. She got it wrong when her child the baby was already blessed so Winans is wasting his time and folks need to stop looking for man to receive their blessings. Some blessings you don’t want.

    29. This doesn’t sound right! I will believe this story when I hear Pastor Marvin Winans say it out of his own mouth. This sounds like a made up story.

    30. I guess his nephew who is in prison for stealing his hometown peoples money cant get bless either
      he aint that big all he have is a big name so he think he can beat anyone with it, that is not a man of God thats just a man of people his shit stink too,that baby is going to be double bless, just like Jabez

    31. I think he is doing the right thing.It is about time that a black man from our community stood up to these woman and let them know it’s not right and you get no free pass for inexcusable behavior.But these woman wouldn’t have a problem with him dissing black men.

      • Melvin Keelen, you are correct it’s about time for black people to address this destructive behavior of having kids outside of marriage. Where is the kid’s father?? I’m sick and tired of seeing young girls/women trying to raise kids off of the social system. The pastor is sending a message that this is not ok by denying the blessing of the kid in front of the congregation.

        • Mr. Malcom,
          Thank God for Jesus Christ! Do you know what it meant for him to be on that Cross and endure all that punishment/hell He went through, I don’t think you do so let me give you a short version, when he died so did our sins, We are no longer governed by the Law an eye for an eye Because we live under GRACE. AND WE DID NOTHING TO GET IT OR DESERVE IT EVEN YOU mr. malcom are living under the Grace of God, so your SINS WHICH MAYBE MANY, are for given and as long as you believe, He Lived, He Died and He Rosed guess what you can enter into Heaven with that lil baby who could NOT even get a blessing in front of the congregation by a MERE MAN! The state in which that child was born should never have been asked nor an issue. If God judged like man YOU ME NONE OF US WOULD MAKE IT INTO HEAVEN…So here’s your message the house of the Father is open to any and everyone because The Father loves us ALL AND BLESSES US ALL…PLEASE TAKE SOME TIME & READ YOUR BIBLE…LEAST YOU BE JUDGED!!!

      • The kids mother didn’t get herself pregnant. I see a lot of you people talking about it’s the mother’s fault, what about the man who got her pregnant, then walked away from his responsibilities?? You talk about the pastor being a hypocrite, when most of you are the same kind of hypocrite. You judge him, because his foolishness is different than yours!

    32. If you will notice pass behavior the Winans family have always appeared to think they are above common folk. Point: Take a look at Sunday’s Best and watch how Mrs. Winans and her co-hosts treat some contestants.

    33. Wow! I guess he’s the judge. What a way to discourage a young woman who believes she has been forgiven for her sins and to tell a young child they aren’t worthy of being accepted into God’s kingdom. I wonder if he’s refusing tithes from the liars and the other sinners in church. Since, we all fall short, how can he justify condemning the blessing. The sin isn’t in the birth of the child, it’s in the sex outside of marriage. But, I guess he’d rather the baby be aborted and the mother pretend like the rest of the church goers that she is without sin. Shame on the “pastor!”

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