I'll Bite... Racist Congregation

labrea_gwJuly 28, 2012

What I'm not understanding if it's only a few how could a few affect the votes of the many & get him voted out or do only a few run that little hell hole & white Body of Christ emporium?

CRYSTAL SPRINGS Sally Garland's eyes were bloodshot and tear-soaked shortly after she walked into her office at Crystal Springs City Hall.

She made history and headlines in 2011 when she became the town's first female mayor, seeking to boost economic development and push Crystal Springs to become a shining example for others to follow -- Mississippi's own city upon a hill.

Eyes are on Crystal Springs once again, but not because of its economic growth, Garland's ambition or even the community's small-town Southern charm. All it took was two people, Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson, who wanted to get married in the church they attended frequently, the church where Te'Andrea's uncle is employed and her father is a member, the church that had never before held a wedding for a black couple.

Though they booked First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs well in advance, the Wilsons were forced to make a last-minute change of venue the day before their wedding after church pastor the Rev. Stan Weatherford said a few church members were uncomfortable with the color of their skin. A story on the local news followed days later, thrusting the community into a firestorm of religious debate and race-related controversy.

"It has broken my heart," Garland said. "We pride ourselves on unity. We don't want to be known for that."

Although she's not sure who all had a hand in Weatherford's decision, Garland said townspeople and other First Baptist members say it's definitely a minority.

"Maybe it's a wake-up call for people to say we're not standing for this," she said. "This is not OK."

Colby Berry, the town's parks and recreation director, said the situation brings dishonor to the community and that, if asked, the majority of the town would be against it.

"I think this would have an impact (on outside perception) if people don't take the time to look at the town for what it is," he said. "If people look at it as one instance of a small group of people that were opinionated in the wrong manner - if they look at the reputation of Crystal Springs, the history that it's had, the people who are here now - I think it'll be OK."

What I'm not understanding if it's only a few how could a few affect the votes of the many & get him voted out?

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mrskjun(9)

Five or six members of the congregation? How many members does this church have, seven? Tell that pastor to hit the road. By not standing up to these evil minded little twits, he becomes one. He is causing a huge division in this church, and showing the rest of the congregation and the community that he is not a man of God.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 10:42AM
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patriciae_gw(07)

Racism is an interesting sort of thing-in this case the church could make a show of not being racist as long as their very few blacks did not presume on their inclusion. Church politics being what they are it could only take one important prominent member to scotch any idea of a black wedding in the church but that doesnt mean everyone else doesnt secretly agree. You can be loud in your defense of the black couple so long as the problem is already solved. Hopefully everyone will have to back up their statements with actions. The Church should throw this couple a big party and invite all their friends.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:40PM
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jodik_gw

Absolutely shameful. This is the 21st century, for crying out loud!

I have no tolerance for bigots.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:05PM
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jlhug

That's not a church I want to be a part of. The pastor has no backbone. If he can't grow one, then he needs to find a different church.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:13PM
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maddie_athome

Such Christians.

Not really a surprise though. After all, this is the State where roughly half of Republican voters think interracial marriage should be illegal.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 4:36AM
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woodnymph2_gw

Not surprising, given it's Mississippi, about the poorest, most backward of all the states. Wonder if they ever heard of Loving vs. Virginia, or the Civil Rights victories?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 3:12PM
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fouquieria(10b)

I think that a church, with a long history, that has not wed a black couple pretty much says it all.

If this church has never had a black couple wed there, it never will. Things never change.

You can absolutely forget a couple of different races getting married there.

-Ron-

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 3:33PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

I dont agree that it will never happen. This is a very public wake-up call and I think it is hopeful that it will lead to a better future. When I was a kid I would never have hoped the country would be the place it is today-such a relatively short time-there is hope

    Bookmark   July 29, 2012 at 6:35PM
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jodik_gw

I would agree, Patriciae... that is, IF we can keep various prejudices from running amok and sliding backward... as they are wont to do through extreme religious outlets.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 7:18AM
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Lady_Brat

This is so wrong. People like this are the ones who give Christianity a bad name. I can't see a true Christian trying to live by God's word behaving in this manner. According to the Bible God made us all and we are all his Children loved equally by Him. The only partiality I've ever read about was toward the Jews; they are God's chosen people. How a person who claims to be a true, practicing Christian, trying to live by God's word can have this attitude is beyond my understanding. I also don't understand why, if it was a minority that was against the wedding, the majority didn't overrule and allow the wedding to procede.......if the minority wasn't happy, let them find another church. If one or both of the couple were known drug dealers, ran a house of prostitution or something along those lines I I could understand the church not wanting the wedding there but that would be true no matter the couple's race. It's not up to me to judge these people but they will have to answer for this one day.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:13AM
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kingturtle(Zone 7 GA)

Very strange. An integrated(?) church that won't marry black members because of a handful of influential white members who don't represent the black and white church majority opinion? Sounds like a cowardly pastor being influenced by some old high profile segregation holdouts. I give the other church members, the mayor, and the town the benefit of the doubt.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 8:48AM
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rob333

The ongoing current theme at church has been the sorrow we feel for congregations like these, with dicussions both in private and public fora. I had a long talk with a person who writes books and has a radio show and we both said it's like there are no more Christians in Christiandom. Yesterday, when the pastor said something akin to this, there was an audible amen, rarely heard in our church (bunch of head-nodders). We see what is going on and it hurts. We don't like it any more than those outside the "church" do.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 9:54AM
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Lady_Brat

""""""""""Sounds like a cowardly pastor being influenced by some old high profile segregation holdouts."

I agree kt........scarey huh? ;^)

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:01AM
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don_socal

The collection plate at most churches reflects the economical status of the community they are in. There are many that go to churches that are not as financially equal with others that attend, meaning that often there are a few that donate the lion's share of financial support. These are likely the ones that have a long family history, generations of involvement with the church. Control is a strong influence for some and the reason jesus threw the money changers out of the church. This pastor was presented with a choice of losing financial support or doing what was done. Interesting that it will only identify the ones with the desire to control in the end. A reflection of the larger picture we live in.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:42AM
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fouquieria(10b)

Sounds like a cowardly pastor being influenced by some old high profile segregation holdouts.

What I didn't get was why did he wait until the very last to inform the couple. That's what it said in the article. Also, how did other members of the church find out about the marriage plans? Did the pastor discuss it with others?

I'm not so sure HE didn't make the decision himself, and then used members' resistance as an excuse. It all doesn't quite add up.

-Ron-

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:47AM
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don_socal

Churches always have boards and board meetings to map out their agenda for church uses and activities. The people on those boards are the most prominent and usully the ones that contribute the most. Just like local and nation wide politics. The ones that objected could have waited for the most devastating moment to act just to make a point. That could back fire with the publicity given, just as polital scenarios are floating to the top of the bowl.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 11:57AM
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