All hell broke loose in Charlotte, North Carolina this week after Pastor Makeda Pennycook, who is black, sent out a mass email asking that “only white people” greet visitors at the 9:00 a.m. service at Freedom House Church.
“I was floored,” said church member Carmen Thomas. “Like it was a jaw dropper. You can put a white face all over the front door. But when you come through those doors, you’re going to see African Americans, you’re gonna see Asians. You’re going to see people of color.”
Pennycooke, who serves as the Executive Pastor of Operations for Freedom House Church, sent the email to her congregation and reminded parishioners that fall is one of the busiest times of year for the church.
“We anticipate having an increase in the number of people visiting and attending Freedom House over the next few weeks,” Pennycooke says in the email. She then says that “first impressions matter” and says the church wants “the best of the best on the front doors.”
“We are continuing to work to bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line,” she continued in the email. “So we would like to ask that only white people be on the front doors.”
Thomas told WBTV she knew exactly what Pastor Pennycooke meant by that statement.
“Too black,” she said. ”It wasn’t a conclusion that I drew. It was something I read.”
Pennycooke then acknowledges the request is a “sensitive situation” and said quality trumps quantity.
“We would rather have less greeters on the front door if it means that the few that we have will represent us the best,” Pennycooke wrote.
A spokesperson sent an email attempting to clean up the situation by stating that Pennycooke was trying to show the church’s diversity. But members aren’t buying it.
What do you think?