Gee, racism in a predominately white Baptist church in Mississippi? Say it ain’t so …
CRYSTAL SPRINGS, MS (WLBT) – It was to be their big day, but a Jackson couple says the church where they were planning to wed turned them away because of their race. […]
They had set the date and printed and mailed out all the invitations, but the day before wedding bells were to ring for Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson, they say they got some bad news from the pastor.
“The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry us, then they would vote him out the church,” said Charles Wilson.
It should be emphasized that the pastor, Dr. Stan Weatherford, and the majority of the congregation did not share this sentiment. It was, as he put it, a strong vocal minority that was threatening to make the life of the pastor and the couple’s wedding day miserable if it went through as planned.
“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 went on and performed the wedding at a nearby 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.
I think the pastor had to think fast and chose the best option given the very short notice and the kind of people he was going to have to deal with if they didn’t get their way. Basically, he kicked the can down the road to allow Charles and Te’Andrea to have an enjoyable wedding – albeit somewhere else – without having to contend with a group of racist assholes who haven’t quite caught on that the Civil War’s been over for more than a few years now. He’d deal with his congregation in his own time after that.
(It’s also not as if we haven’t seen this before. Hell, earlier this month I wrote about a group of good ol’ boys in Alabama who held a conference in which “All White Christians” were invited to attend. The piece de resistance was the “Sacred Christian Cross Lighting Ceremony“.)
Again, it’s a good sign that both the pastor and the majority of the parish are on the side of the couple, and want to work together to find a way to make sure this doesn’t happen again. I’m not entirely sure how, since you’re always going to have racists wherever you go, so I think the best they can hope for at this point is just to get them drummed out of the church or just shouted down into impotence. For any more positive outcome, I guess they’re just going to need some faith that people can change. I guess they’re in the right place for that mindset … good luck to them.