Outrage as US church refuses to marry black couple

Posted by Transport & Business Express | 29 July 2012 | 3,955 times

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Outrage has greeted the refusal of a US Baptist Church to marry a couple because they are black. The First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, USA, refused to marry Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson even though they were frequent attenders of the church and had booked their wedding far in advance, reports Yahoo! News quoting ABC’s affiliate WAPT-TV.

“The invitations had been sent, the programs printed. But one day before Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson were to be married at the Mississippi church they frequented, they said a pastor told them they would have to find another venue – because they were black,” the report said.

“There has never been a black wedding at the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Miss., since its founding in 1883. According to Pastor Stan Weatherford, some church members objected so strongly to breaking that precedent, they threatened to oust him from his pastorship.

Rather than risk his job, Weatherford, who is white, said he decided to marry the pair at a black church down the road,” the report added.

A stunned Charles Wilson said: “My 9-year-old was going to the church with us. How would you say to your 9-year-old daughter, ‘We cannot get married here because, guess what sweetie, we’re black.”

Outrage over the wedding’s forced relocation swept the Jackson suburb of about 5,000 into a media firestorm.

The report quoted Theresa Norwood, 48, who was born in Crystal Springs and has lived there her entire life, as saying that “the vast majority of Crystal Springs residents, blacks and whites alike, were ‘blown away’ by the church’s decision.”

Norwood said she believes Weatherford should have married the Wilsons regardless of the risk to his job.

Defending himself, Weatherford said he would have liked to marry the couple as planned, but he decided to perform the ceremony elsewhere as a compromise to ensure that the Wilsons could be married while “addressing a need within our congregation.”

*Photo shows the couple

Source: TBE

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