A Mississippi couple learned that racism is still prevalent, regardless of one's religion. Charles and Te'Andre Wilson had plans to tie the knot at the church they attend—which happens to be predominantly White—and were met with an icy reception.
Members of the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, complained to Rev. Stan Weatherford that they were not interested in having a Black couple wed in their place of worship. Rather than argue, Weatherford gave in to their demands. “The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry her, then they would vote [the pastor] out the church,” Charles said in an interview.
The couple, who already sent out their invitations, had to switch venues and ended up getting married in another church earlier this month, and allowed Weatherford to officiate. According to Charles, the pastor was in fear of getting fired, a move that was ultimately voted against. However, church members said Sunday (July 29) that they were not informed of the option to vote Weatherford out of his position.
Since there is no law barring racial discrimination as it relates to religious practices, the church will face no repercussions for their actions. They did however receive criticism from the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention. “Our entire country, and especially here in Mississippi, has been on a long journey for right racial relationships,” Jim Futral, executive director of the MBC board, said in a statement. “Mississippi Baptists both reject racial discrimination and at the same time respect the autonomy of our local churches to deal with difficulties and disagreements under the lordship of Jesus.”
Officials planned a “racial unity” march Monday (July 30), in an attempt to ease tensions in the area.
Unfortunately, the Wilson's aren't the only twosome that has been victims of racism. Earlier this year, a man Michigan man was convicted of mailing a noose to an interracial couple.
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