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No one in their right mind would believe this story. It baffles the mind.

WBTV reports that a viewer and member of Freedom House, Carmen Thomas, contacted them after she got an email from her pastor, Pastor Makeda Pennycooke. Ms. Thomas has been a member of the church for more than two years and became a member because of its diversity. The pastor sent the email to the church members who act as greeters for the 9 AM service. The email asked that only white people stand at the front door to greet the congregation.

According to Ms. Thomas the pastor reminded the volunteers that fall is one of their busiest times of the year, first impressions matters, and that the church wanted the best of the best on the front doors. She also said that the church was continuing to work to bring the racial demographic pendulum of the church back to the mid-line. To accomplish that the pastor said that she asked that only white people be on the front doors.

In the email the pastor said that she acknowledges that the request was a sensitive situation but quality trumps quantity. She also said she would rather have less greeters on the front door if it means those at the door would represent the church’s best.

WBTV contacted the church and a spokeswoman acknowledged the veracity of the email. She said the email was sent to ensure the greeting team reflected the racial diversity of the church. She said it was a mistake to over emphasize any specific group. An apology was sent out within 24 hours.

More, including video, below the fold.

Ms. Thomas said that she does not believe race was the only issue. She believes it had to do with the church’s bottom line. She believes that since black people in the congregation are not the "moneymakers," the pastor was trying to attract a more affluent membership, a whiter membership. Ms. Thomas correctly states that the method the pastor was attempting to use was deceptive. In her words, “You don’t like put icing on a chocolate cake and think you are eating vanilla.”

Ms. Thomas said she spoke up because of her young daughter. She does not want to leave the earth knowing she did not do her part to leave an even platform for her child.

The saddest part of this story is that the racist pastor is black. What this story vividly illustrates is the complexities of racism, self-hate, the power of money, and responsible bravery.

A black pastor telling the black portion of the congregation they were not good enough to be at the front door and that the best of the best in their church was defined by the color white is racist. That the pastor believed that and articulated it expresses a self-hate that would have her not identify herself as being black as well. After all, if color is an issue with prospective members, would they not leave the church when they realize they are led by a black pastor?

The power of money blinded the pastor from the mental anguish and damage her words inflicted on those receiving the email, black, white, or other. Shouldn’t a pastor who councils the damaged soul be cognizant of that? Thankfully Ms. Thomas displayed the necessary bravery to speak up. Many in church environments are so subservient to the church hierarchy that these types of attacks go unchallenged. It is for this reason the pastor likely believed she could be as blunt, direct and dismissive.

Interesting enough though, the pastor is likely correct that her front door policy would have attracted more affluent white visitors. Maybe she had the talent once in the church to have them stay. She would have done much less psychological damage if she was just honest. She could have said that the church wanted to attract more affluent members to help with the church finances. She could have said that the reality is that while all people are equal in the eyes of the Lord, for the sake of comfort for some affluent white people she wanted to have white faces at the door. She could then state that she would ensure that equality and atonement was preached. Most minorities in America are well aware of this “concept”. The problem is that this pastor told the minority portion of her congregation that they were simply not as good, not the best of the best. The color of their skin to that pastor made it so.

Originally posted to ProgressiveLiberal on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:33 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sad thing about all is there isn't even ONE iota (22+ / 0-)

    in all of bible that commands or directs the creation of churches, not even one.

    Those who ignore that have an interest purely based on financing themselves.

    Living the austerity dream.

    by jwinIL14 on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 10:59:31 PM PDT

    •  Bible bestseller book ever? (5+ / 0-)

      Living the austerity dream.

      by jwinIL14 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:20:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You are Peter... (12+ / 0-)

      and upon this rock I will build my church.

      Greet also the church that meets at their house.   All the churches of Christ send greetings. Romans 16:16

      The churches in the province of Asia send you greetings - 1 Cor 16:19

      What are you talking about?  Churches - both as the whole "Church" and individual groups meeting in cities - are all over the New Testament, and assumed as a fact.

      This sounds like the sort of thing touted by various odd fundamentalist groups.

      •  Thank you, saved me the trouble of responding (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akeitz, jeff in nyc, DJ Rix, Ahianne, Tuscarora

        to jwin.

        But since I'm here, I'll add one more:

        1 Corinthians 14:26
        ... Everything must be done so that the church may be built up.

        Sounds pretty much like a command to me. 81 New Testament passages mention the church.

        Mark E. Miller // Kalamazoo Township Trustee // MI 6th District Democratic Chair

        by memiller on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:03:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't knock success (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Here's what she said once again:

          the church wanted the best of the best on the front doors. She also said that the church was continuing to work to bring the racial demographic pendulum of the church back to the mid-line. To accomplish that the pastor said that she asked that only white people be on the front doors.
          Now, in no time flat, they will be making it far, far past the mid-line. Rick Perry and "oops? come to  mind, but you know, be careful what you wish for...
          •  Actually, now with all the press, they'll have to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tung sol, MDhome

            preserve their black membership. White evangelicals love black membership because they think it disproves their racism. There's more to racism than who you'll tolerate on the pews.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:27:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  No Memory (0+ / 0-)

            What people like this minister forget is who were Jesus and his disciples. Jesus was almost certainly illiterate. Calling him a carpenter is a stretch. He was more like a day laborer. All but one of the disciples were the poorest of the poor. The one exception was a tax collector, the most hated people in the land.

            Put on a "good face" and be just like Jesus. I don't think so.

        •  Yes, Jesus definitely intended (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          memiller, Ahianne

          to create communities. He didn't seem to have grand institutions in mind. But he wanted followers to gather  together, & gave  them common prayer, commandments & a form of remembrance, which have been passed down through the centuries,

          "There ain't no sanity clause." Chico Marx

          by DJ Rix on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:53:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Most (0+ / 0-)

          of those passages are referring to "the church" as the whole community of believers, not a specific group, and certainly not a building, which is what jwinn refers to.

      •  they weren't churches (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        True North, Australian2

        as we know them.
        They certainly didn't have church buildings (and especially not ones with gyms and gift shoppes).

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:42:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Gyms and gift shops, no, but... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          ...given that the Old Testament certainly directs the construction of at least one temple (Solomon's), and that Jesus visited both synagogues and temples, I would suggest that the notion of "church buildings" was well-established at the time; of course, mention is also made (in both Old and New Testaments) to numerous temples of other religions/deitites.

          In the absence of a specific prohibition, why wouldn't a church building be appropriate for Christians?

          Having said that, I will certainly agree that many, many churches spend FAR too much money on buildings and facilities.

          The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

          by wesmorgan1 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:45:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Church (0+ / 0-)

          In the Middle Ages, the grand churches of Europe were erected to the glory of God, as a means of creating community and providing jobs to employ skilled craftsmen, and to assure that people continued to recognize the social, economic and political power of the church.

      •  The Greek word is “ekklesia" (6+ / 0-)

        The Greek word used in the New Testament is “ekklesia,” which refers to an assembly of people. Needless to say, this word is not translated as “church” in classical Greek texts, and it was never used to refer to a building or temple.

        In his earlier translation of the Bible, Tyndale did not use “church” in these passages (he used “congregation”); it was the King James Version that started this particular tradition of mistranslation.

        The English word "church" actually comes from the Greek word “kuriakon,” which is used twice in the Scriptures (Corinthians 11:20 and Revelation 1:10)—both times to mean “belonging to the Lord” (and neither is a reference to a "church"). “Kuriakon” eventually came to mean “Lord’s house,” thus church (Anglo Saxon: “circe”; Middle English, “chirche”).

        •  Interesting to me is that the Spanish word for (0+ / 0-)

          church "iglesia" is clearly derived from that Greek word.  Maybe Tyndale was being swayed by how the Romance languages ended up interpreting that word, and as a result caused him to mistranslate?

          •  It's a little more complicated than that. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            davidincleveland, Audri, Ahianne, Miggles

            During the medieval period, clerical writers used Matthew 16:18 (“upon this rock I will build my ‘ekklesia’ ”) as justification for existence of the Church (with a capital C) and the primacy of the pope (rock, “petros” = Peter).

            So the Greek “ekklesia” became the medieval Latin term “ecclesia,” meaning the Church as a whole--thus, ecclesiastical. The word “ecclesia” didn’t even exist in classical Latin; it was a late addition to the Latin language. (Source: Souter, “A Glossary of Later Latin to 600 A.D.”)

            It is this Catholic/Latin lineage that undoubtedly influenced the “mistranslation” in the King James Version. Similarly, the Spanish “iglesia” actually derives from the Latin term “ecclesia” which derives from the Greek “ekklesia.”

            In sum, it is more accurate if one thinks of this New Testament term as referring to a congregation, since the meaning of ecclesia/iglesia as “church” (either as the hierarchy or a building) came centuries after the life of Christ.

            •  And "ekklesia" actually means ... (0+ / 0-)

              those who are "called out" of the general population (by God, of course), and thus a small minority.  In New Testament times, of course, Christians WERE a very small, and occasionally (not always, contrary to popular belief) persecuted minority.

              I would think that this congregation, which presumably had built up a large membership in the past, but had fallen short on donations, could "downsize" its physical plant if necessary, and try motivating members to give more per capita if they could, while BRINGING new visitors.

              Also, I would guess that visitors who would be negatively influenced by black greeters on their first visit might also find the congregation not "white" enough once they began attending regularly, and would leave soon afterward.  The minister needs to recruit new members who are comfortable with a racially mixed fellowship, and that would happen more easily with VERY friendly greeters of all "races."

      •  Perhaps jwin meant Gospels? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Paul certainly talked about churches. A lot, since his mission in life was to wander the earth trying to win converts and then to get them brought together into churches.

        Did the four gospel writers have anything to say about churches?

      •  Is that in the new or old testament? You know the (0+ / 0-)

        writing and book collecting of/for the old testament didn't start until over 300 years after the death of Jesus? Strange how someone can first state what Jesus said in the old testament over 300 years earlier and then write a new testament of what Jesus said 100s of years after that.

        •  If Jesus said it, it's the New Testament. (0+ / 0-)

          "I JAMES, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland... that We would vouchsafe unto [our loving and well-disposed Subjects] our Licence, to make Habitation, Plantation, and to deduce a Colony of sundry of our People into that Part of America, commonly called VIRGINIA, and other Parts and Territories in America..."

          --Excerpt from the Charter of 1606, the document establishing Virginia as an official British colony

          Funny how we can know this charter to have existed literally, that it was written as such, and that it described events and people who actually literally existed, even though it was supposedly written over 400 years ago, and even though none of us poor E-readers have any idea where the original "proof," (i.e. the document itself) may currently reside.

          Funny too how you think Jesus said anything in the Old Testament. That only proves that you haven't read the Old Testament. The only part of the Old Testament that Christians say pertains to Jesus is the stuff other people said about a future Messiah; Jesus himself was not yet born at that time.

          Funnier yet how you think that here and now is the time and place to attack Jesus, when it's a modern Christian doing something that is the problem. If you want to attack Jesus, go to a history forum, where your comparative illiteracy will not be taken lightly.

      •  Peter"s name, (0+ / 0-)

        In Greek, Peter's name means "rock".  And, as the prior poster indicated, Jesus did not state or imply the creation of a church, especially one that looks like the present incarnation of the holy church, a church that practices exclusivism and exceptionalism.

      •  Aside from the "On this rock" quote (0+ / 0-)

        is there anything else in the Gospels about churches? Your other references are to the Epistles of Paul, whose aim was to spread the word by helping to establish Christian communities through the establishment of churches. The reason I make this distinction is that I feel Christians should follow the teachings of Christ, not Paul, who had his own agenda.

    •  Fail on so many levels (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North

      So first off "Church" is English - a language that didnt exist at the time of the Bible.

      Second the Old Testament is pre-Christian and so the term used was in Jewish....because Jesus was a Jew.  

      Third  - Websters defines a "Church" as "a building for public and especially Christian worship" yet in Matthew 18:20 we are reminded that "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."  I have been to some amazing "churches" in the woods, desert, beside the ocean and even in a bunker.

      Fourth  - It is no small irony that you mention financial interest as a reason for churches that you say dont exist in the bible when one of the most famous passages of the New Testament is the Cleansing of the Temple - Matthew 21:12.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:20:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and Jesus never said a word about the Bible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      because it didn't exist.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:23:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Jesus read the Bible. (0+ / 0-)

        Of course He wasn't IN it yet, because the New Testament did not exist.  The phrase rendered in Greek as "the Law and the prophets" referred to the Scriptures Jesus read: Torah, the first five books, or Pentateuch (actually means "teaching," not the legalistic term "law"); Nevi'im or Prophets; and Khetubim, or (other) Writings, such as Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Ruth, Esther, etc.  Today's Jews refer to this combination as the Tanakh (from the initials TNKh).  The Tanakh did not have an "official" list of books, or CANON, until the 2nd century AD, and outside of the Holy Land itself, both Diaspora Jews, who were deficient in Hebrew, and Gentiles "interested" in Jewish lore, read the Greek translation called the Septuagint (or LXX for short) commissioned in the 3rd or 4th century BC by King Ptolemy of Greek-ruled Egypt.  The LXX had some books generally considered inspired, called the Apocrypha, such as the three books of the Maccabees containing the story of Hanukah, and they became part of the Orthodox and Catholic Christian Bibles (translated into Latin in the 4th century by St. Jerome), even though the Jews later rejected them from their own canon.  During the Reformation, Martin Luther, seeing that the Jews themselves did not consider these books Scripture, omitted them from the Protestant canon, so that many Protestants do not even know they exist (some Protestant editions put them in a separate section).

        So Jesus did read (in fact, probably had memorized) the Hebrew Bible, probably translated mentally into His native Aramaic; this language is very close to Hebrew, so reading Hebrew to them was like reading Chaucer's English to us.

        The New Testament is a much richer story; for the first 30 years of the church, letters by Paul and others were circulated, THEN came the Gospel of Mark; 20 years later the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, followed by Acts; and by 100 AD, the Gospel of John and Revelation.  A number of letters thought to be by Paul were actually 2nd century forgeries, and by the 2nd century there were dozens of Gospels being written.  The canon was finalized by Church authority sometime in the early Middle Ages, but it was essentially complete by 400 AD.

        •  The one Protestant Bible (0+ / 0-)

          that contains the Apocrypha (at least, to the best of my knowledge) is the Revised English Bible, used by the Episcopal and Anglican Churches.  When I was a practicing Christian (never did get any good at it), I joined the Episcopal Church and got a copy of the RE Bible on the recommendation of a college professor of mine who taught Old Testament Thought - I took his class during my sophomore year.  

          The other Gospels you refer to are, I believe, the Gnostic Gospels (e.g. the Secret Book of Mark, the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, the Gospel of Thomas and even - wait for it - the Gospel of Jesus), which suggest all of the things the Church had redacted and edited out in later centuries, as they ran counter to the programming the Church wished to use on its adherents.  Couldn't very well have Jesus talking about meditation, reincarnation, or even karma, now could we?

    •  creation of CHURCH (0+ / 0-)

      I cannot attest to the correctness of your assertion; however,  without question, if Jesus envisioned a church, it would not be what we see today.  Robert Heinlein penned a wonderful novel entitled "Stranger in a Strange Land" that could not be more appropriate to this situation.

  •  What is painfully obvious is that this is a (21+ / 0-)

    business first and a church second.  Incredibly, they are willing to appeal to bigotry in exchange for money.  The cross on the steeple should be replaced by a $ sign as truth in advertising.

    Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity -- George Carlin

    by ZedMont on Tue Sep 03, 2013 at 11:40:25 PM PDT

  •  Pastors and politicians and bankers and CEOs (10+ / 0-)

    have characteristics in common that attract them and make them conforming with those professions and avocations. Some actors, too.

    They are show-offs.
    They are verbally adept.
    They have good memories for the spoken word
    They parrot what they hear.
    They like giving directions.
    They do not know what they do.
    They are clueless.
    They are middlemen.
    They rely on superficial optics.
    God made them that way and every society has some.

    •  The hell? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nailbanger, Cassandra Waites

      Have you been talking to my staff parish relations committee?

      To be fair, I'll cop to most of these.

      If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.-Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s

      by left rev on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:10:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ick. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . UID: 8519

    by Bob Love on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 02:05:12 AM PDT

  •  Sunday morning (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the most segregated time in America.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 03:38:12 AM PDT

    •  I live on NYC's Upper West Side (7+ / 0-)

      And honestly, the churches around here are more diverse than almost any other group you see.  Not only black, white and Asian.  Also rich, poor and middle.  Businessmen and artists.  Also tons of gay people, but that's probably pretty unusual outside of NYC.

    •  So is Saturday morning. (0+ / 0-)

      Religion is about racism and tribalism at its core.

      I am really sorry to say that as so many participants here and worldwide seem to believe that they are very open minded, but they are not.  

      Most people engaged in organized religion are active participants in some level of judgment against others that isn't really distinguished from bigotry, racism or classism.

      Most religions require acceptance of scripture and some require both lineage and acceptance.

      When I saw the story about the church requiring whites only I had two thoughts.  

      1. LOL - the original "Christians" in the Bible were not what Americans think of as "white" now so you are a bunch of fucking idiots.

      2. Natch.  Naturally you want "whites only" because you ascribe to a way of thought that is exclusionary - today it is white people who get in - tomorrow it will be people with blue eyes - tomorrow dark brown hair - two months from now if you don't have long enough eye lashes, you'll be sent packing.  It is a bunch of BULLSHIT.

      The ONLY reason that I would publicize the existence of these people is to make sure that no one goes and joins and to illustrate why organized religion is such a sick and twisted practice on this planet.

      I am going to take my leave and have a PRIVATE spiritual ritual with a watermelon - and I am not kidding and that is not racist, I love the earth for giving me the joyful summer watermelon experience - thanks EARTH.  And screw you stupid, asshole, mean preachers of any religion.  You make me sick.

      Peace :)

  •  Sooo about that tax exempt status... (6+ / 0-)

    How about we treat these enterprises as businesses and revoke their tax exempt status?  After all if they are run like a business then they should be taxed as one.

    Frankly I'm disgusted by the whole thing.  The racist angle is as disturbing as the greed angle.  If this is truly a place of worship and they follow the Christian bible then they'd be throwing the money changers OUT of the church, not actively seeking to bring them into the fold.  Fucking hypocrites.  

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 04:08:59 AM PDT

    •  yes, but (0+ / 0-)

      I agree that the best thing we could do as a nation is remove the full church from automatic tax exempt status.  There are ways, for example if property is put into trusts, if money that is not donated to outside secular organizations are taxed, that the tax footprint of could be minimized and most churches that not cash cows for a single family would still flourish.  Not churches like Lakewood, but other churches.

       On the  other hand there are people out these who do not seem to have the tools to live in secular civilized society.  Churches do provide generally peaceful and safe echo chambers for these people to hear calming messages.  Such as that no matter how pathetic they may be, they are still better than others because they believe in the one g-d that no one else has access to.  Or that they really aren't so bigoted because they go to church with people of color, even though their g-d believes that people of color are inferior.

      Hopefully one day we will need such places to placate such people, but clearly for the time being we do.  Yes such places are offensive, but merely being offensive does not mean that it does not have a right to exist.

      It may, however,  mean that the public funds should not be used to subsidize it.

  •  Disgusting. (3+ / 0-)

    So completely tired of all this crap. Why can't people just get over it and get along. Good grief. There are times that I am so ashamed to say that I am from the south. "Christianity" sure is wonderful, ain't it.

  •  Christianity...yeah, right. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I know we're not supposed to take shots at religions around here, but this is a wide open target.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:05:13 AM PDT

  •  Awful. (0+ / 0-)

    But why do you say "No one in their right mind would believe this story"?  I find it very easy to believe.

  •  Church (7+ / 0-)

    This was a tragic mistake.It was misguided.I would however refrain judgement until I knew how the church spent it's money.In the churches I have attended of in-laws and grandkids,the pastors keep their day-jobs and don't receive a salary.They still do a tremendous amount of outreach,food kitchens,angel networks often to  provide gifts for children whose parents are incarcerated,they spend hours ministering  to and trying to serve the elderly shut-ins who do not have means or access to services that can get them to doctors appointments,or see that they get proper nutrition.We have yes ALL suffered from the conditioning of racism and we seem to expect African-Americans to somehow( because of a different cultural experience perhaps)  be invulnerable to that conditioning which the dominant culture has so generously lavished on all of us.I don't know if the rent was due the lease was about to expire or if expansion was a great vision of this pastor.her mission statement was not well executed.I may hear her beliefs as juxtaposed to my own and say good riddance,but to me to judge a small community mistake through a cosmopolitan lens is also very misguided and somewhat bullyish.
    I like most liberals,am sick and tired of evangelical groups trying to cram their religions down my throat in terms of politics and legislation.Many of us in response to too many years of it have decided to pull the gloves off and dismiss any and all that smacks of religion.I get it.I am still somewhat bruised,but I don't want to become the bully here,then I recreate the karma I just burned.

    •  It is both kind and fair of you (5+ / 0-)

      to try and look at both sides like this.

      Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

      Oh, I used to be disgusted
      Now I try to be amused
      ~~ Elvis Costello

      by smileycreek on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 01:06:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's their website: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl

      "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

      by Australian2 on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 01:01:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That is the difference (0+ / 0-)

      between congregations in which the vast majority are well off and middle class, having no experience of real poverty, and those in which the majority know or are related to, someone struggling through situations such as Tellol mentioned.  Actually, the first kind of church DOES have members with financial or legal problems, but those members are embarrassed to tell their church friends for fear of being ostracized, so they do not get help from them, and often change churches or drop their faith as a result.

      As for money, it is a necessity in our society.  A church should ideally be like a family, in that it collects money IN ORDER TO do the things that show love to one another and to the rest of humanity, not like a business that does things IN ORDER TO accumulate money.  Often, when money for a church is tight, ministers and board members panic and try various "schemes" including "conforming to the world" to raise more, rather than doing what they can to carry out their mission with what they have.

      I pray that the minister of this particular church finds the faith to trust that God will restore prosperity (not necessarily more money; perhaps guidance in how to carry out its mission with less money) to her church when that church proclaims its message honestly, part of that message being that "in Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus."

  •  OK (4+ / 0-)

    Somewhere Jesus is reading this in mute amazement.  

    William Hamilton practices Law and is a writer and community activist in the Charleston, SC area. He can reached through

    by wjhamilton29464 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 12:51:22 PM PDT

  •  Whatever (0+ / 0-)

    The skeezy bitch can do whatever she wants under the 1st Amendment.  That's the law.

  •  Has a reposting of this been considered? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm just finding it now, I find it hard to believe the lack of response to it.

    FSM works in mysterious ways........

    "The first duty of a revolutionist is to get away with it.". Abbie Hoffman

    by Joes Steven on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 05:20:31 PM PDT

  •  Back to 'Whites Only' entrances. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, Australian2

    Who would have thunk?

    If you need a white person at the door to entice other white people to come in, what do you think they are going to do, when to their dismay, the congregation has people of color in it, and you have to sit next to them????

    Some people are plain ol' 'lost in the wilderness'.

    Someone has to be held responsible for the chain of custody in determining the authenticity of my life. I’m getting a lot of false positives.

    by glb3 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:09:45 PM PDT

  •  This is instance where all the back-pedaling in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites

    the world won't undue the ugliness for first message.

  •  Sadly, that pastor has forgotten that she is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    createpeace, Cassandra Waites

    there to serve God, not man.

    In the time it took Adam Lanza to reload, eleven children escaped. What if...

    by Sixty Something on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:10:24 PM PDT

  •  Interrobang. (0+ / 0-)

    Money doesn't talk it swears.

    by Coss on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:17:13 PM PDT

  •  Sadly, some from my church (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, createpeace, Brecht

    would agree with her underlying logic, and some would probably be comfortable with the racial aspect of it, although they probably wouldn't admit it. We're an extremely homogenous group. This is one of the reasons I'm serving at the churches that I am-to be prophetic.

    Nothing about this works for me. I wish I could claim to be flabbergasted by it, but I'm not. This pastor now must own the words no pastor should ever want to hear:

    "This is my body, broken by you."

    If you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.-Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s

    by left rev on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:18:10 PM PDT

  •  Strange indeed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, createpeace

    As a pastor would Ms Pennycooke be expected to counsel and mentor her flock.  She displays such a lack of sensitivity and common sense I doubt whether she would be able to perform these duties adequately.

  •  There is a lot wrong with this story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, Naniboujou, Terri

    not the least of which is that a black pastor felt that her black parishioners would be okay with this.  

  •  I think this is worthy of that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, SoCalSal

    Southern expression that means the exact opposite of what it says when said with just the right tone..."Well bless her heart..." (facepalm)

    Hmm I wonder how much money her church will raise now or how long she will remain pastor.

    People = idiots.


  •  It's not six miles from my house. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Frederick Clarkson

    I could literally run there.

  •  More proof churches don't deserve tax free status. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They're a business, pure and simple.

    cheerleaders need not apply.

    by kravitz on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:30:58 PM PDT

  •  Truly disgraceful. But anything church related is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A joke these days. Many of these pastors are frauds and phonies, all they care about is making money to buy their million dollar mansions.

    •  That's a bit much. (4+ / 0-)

      In 2009, Christianity Today commissioned a survey of 1800+ Protestant churches in the US. That survey reported the following:

      * Average worship attendance is 580; median is 236.
      • Nearly half (47%) are from churches with less than 200 people in average attendance.


      < $100K - 15% of churches
      $100-200K - 10%
      $200-300K - 7%
      $300-400K - 4%
      $400-500K - 3%
      $500-750K - 5%
      $750K-$1M - 5%
      $1.5M-$2M - 2%
      > $2M - 7%
      No budget - 1%
      Not aware/didn't know - 35%

      Average budget: $664,426
      Median budget: $295,300

      That survey only reported two items which, on average, consumed more than 10% of church budgets - salaries consumed an average of 38%, and building expenses (mortagage, rent, lease) consumed 12%.

      38% of the median budget is only $112,000/year - and that's usually split among at least a few staff (including everything from multiple pastors/ministers to custodial staff and office workers).

      The media will show you the megachurch folks and other extremes, but there aren't that many pastors buying "million-dollar mansions" with their salaries - especially those serving the 47% of churches who average 200 or fewer folks in weekly attendance.

      The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

      by wesmorgan1 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 09:07:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A female Uncle Ruckus? Oh dear god. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:41:44 PM PDT

  •  Hooolleey Fuck! That's it. I have seen it all now. (0+ / 0-)

    Shakes head. Fuck It. I'm eating my dinner now. Shit is seriously fucked up.

    if a habitat is flooded, the improvement for target fishes increases by an infinite percentage...because a habitat suitability index that is even a tiny fraction of 1 is still infinitely higher than zero, which is the suitability of dry land to fishes.

    by mrsgoo on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:50:16 PM PDT

  •  This (0+ / 0-)

    According to the church's website, Pennycooke is "Executive Pastor of Operations".  I'm guessing that means she isn't in the pulpit often, since the "Senior Pastors" are a husband/wife team.

    That's just sad.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 07:52:03 PM PDT

  •  Irony (0+ / 0-)

    By sending this the black portion of the church was probably angered and may leave or reduce their giving.

    Double irony - the same type of people who would care if the greeter was black or white now know this is a "black" church and wont come.

    Tripple irony - As a follower of Jesus why would you WANT racists in your church?  If the color of the greeter is a decider, they are not Christians  - followers of the Word and life of Jesus.

    Somehow this person became a preacher without getting the point of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

    It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

    by ksuwildkat on Wed Sep 04, 2013 at 08:05:30 PM PDT

  •  Grammar WTF! (0+ / 0-)

    "She also said she would rather have less greeters on the front door"

    less greaters

    I am sure you mean FEWER

  •  Can't put a black or brown Jesus at the front door (0+ / 0-)

    either. Not even inside the church. Oh, they will say color doesn't matter and i agree. So put the black Jesus at the front door and see what happens. All these diversified CHURCH  MEMBERS WILL CURSE. Don't have the "quality" to be Jesus, don't have the "quality" to be at the front door. In a way, the pastor put it in their brainwashed faces.

  •  Well, there's one good thing to come out of this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We now have a rock-solid example of affirmative action for white people.

    Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations. - George Orwell

    by Wayward Son on Thu Sep 05, 2013 at 06:09:52 AM PDT

  •  The worst part about this... (0+ / 0-) that I can see the pastor's reasoning.  North Carolina like much of the South, has a long tradition of white churches and black churches.  Black greeters + black pastor = black church.  White greeters + black pastor = diversity!  The safe, Allen West kind of diversity that demands nothing of the parishioners other than money.

    Every white person attending her services will be able to say "What, me, racist?  Well just come down to my church..."  That is the message she is marketing, and I think it will sell.

  •  Charlotte, NC follows the state down the toilet. (0+ / 0-)

    I lived in Charlotte for 19 years,  and have lived in the vicinity for52 years.  I have a hard time grasping this one.  This guy makes Uncle Tom a rocket scientist.  

  •  I was completely unaware (0+ / 0-)

    that churches such as this get such a large contingency of their flock from random people coming through the front door. AND they only want the ones with money? That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard, Jesus would remove you from the temple...

  •  Blacks can still serve the church as lawn jockeys (0+ / 0-)

    "[Pastor Pennycooke] believes that since black people in the congregation are not the 'moneymakers'."

    What Pastor Pennycooke has created here is a microcosm of the Republicans' view that the vast majority of Americans are "takers," while they moneyed elite are "job creators."

    Just because Pastor Pennycooke is black, one cannot dismiss the possibility that she's merely a Herman Cain, or Alan West or Alan Keyes -- a black person seeking personal and professional advancement by saying the things that rich white people want to hear -- in a clerical collar.

  •  "The saddest part of this story (0+ / 0-)

    "The saddest part of this story is that the racist pastor is black. What this story vividly illustrates is the complexities of racism, self-hate, the power of money, and responsible bravery."

    This is sad, but it used to be fairly common. Blacks often preferred to go to white doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc., in the mistaken belief that they were automatically better. I thought that mindset had disappeared, but apparently not for everyone.

  •  Speaking of Bible references (0+ / 0-)

    The part of the Bible I find myself thinking of here is the second chapter of James.  A quote from the beginning:

    1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

    2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

    3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

    4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

  •  White face church (0+ / 0-)

    Once they figured out how to make money from a church all hell broke loose.  Not just Jews, Christians or Muslims.  It take money to build them, to maintain them and to keep the clergy living in luxury.  

  •  A sad commentary.. (0+ / 0-)

     on our society.  A black man chooses this solution to reassure white people they are welcome.  If this white man were considering joining a "black church" I would want to feel included there.  For reasons more complicated than racism, I would want to know I wouldn't be a minority of one in a black congregation.  So would a black man in an all-white church.  I would think a racially diverse church would choose a mixed team of greeters.  

  •  The Racist is Black! (0+ / 0-)

    "The saddest part of this story is that the racist pastor is black," according to the above article.

    Growing up Jewish, my father taught me "Jews can be the worst anti-Semites."

    So learning that the pastor is Black didn't come as a surprise.

    There is no right way to do the wrong thing!

    by HashHoward on Fri Sep 06, 2013 at 05:19:15 AM PDT

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