A predominantly white church in Mississippi, America has refused to marry a couple because of the colour of their skin.
After agreeing to perform Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson’s July 21 wedding ceremony, the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi informed the couple they could no longer marry in the 129-year old church because they are black – and, adding insult to injury, they did so on the day before the wedding.
The church’s pastor, Stan Weatherford, informed the couple that since some congregants were uncomfortable with a black wedding ceremony taking place in their church, he could no hold the nuptials in the church.
Instead, he performed the wedding at a nearby church.
“Because of the fact that we were black, some of the members of the congregation had got upset and decided that no black couple would ever be married at that church,” newlywed Charles told CNN.
“All we wanted to do in the eyes of God was to be man and wife in a church that we thought we felt loved. What was wrong with that?”
Understandably, the local community is equally outraged by the church’s questionable, potentially illegal, stance. In fact, the story has not only gone viral online, but a racial unity rally is also planned outside the church this week.
“This was, had not, had never been done here before so it was setting a new (precedent) and there were those who reacted to that,” Weatherford told America’s WLBT-TV.
“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,” he is reported to have said.
The church is currently holding meetings in order to decide what to do if any other black couples attempt to marry there.