Just when you thought Jim Crow in the Deep South was crucified, dead and buried, another outrage happens. This time, it comes from an all-too-familiar place--Mississippi. Charles Wilson and Te'Andrea Henderson wanted to hold their wedding at First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, south of Jackson. But on the day before the wedding, the pastor of that church came with some shocking news--they had to move the wedding because they were black.
"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 him out the church," said Charles Wilson.To his credit, Weatherford performed the ceremony at a nearby church. But the Wilsons have retained a lawyer and are considering their legal options.
"He had people in the sanctuary that were pitching a fit about us being a black couple," said Te'Andrea Wilson. "I didn't like it at all, because I wasn't brought up to be racist. I was brought up to love and care for everybody."
The church's pastor, Dr. Stan Weatherford, says he was taken by surprise by what he calls a small minority against the black marriage at the church.
"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.
If this small minority is worried about black folk marrying in their church, they may have to get used to more requests in the future. According to Wikipedia, Crystal Springs is almost 56 percent black.
City leaders are also outraged by this. The city's mayor says that the community is standing with the Wilsons.
Emotional at times, Mayor Sally Garland says the community will fight against the reported prejudice the Wilson's have faced.Garland has also scheduled a unity rally at Railroad Park in Crystal Springs at 6 pm Monday night.
"We're together loving each other and praying with each other and (this situation) can't define us. It's just not true. It's not who we are as a whole."
You expect to still find subtle prejudice in this part of the country. But something this blatant? Staggering--especially since the Southern Baptist Convention just elected its first black president.
7:17 AM PT: Since this is on the rec list, I have to say that I agree--as sad as it is, a legal challenge might not go anywhere. It may accomplish one thing, though--heaping more well-deserved shame on the racist morans in that church.