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Jul
30

Seriously?! Mississippi Church Refuses Wedding Ceremony to African American Couple

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Yesterday I stumbled upon three different online articles that shared the story of a Mississippi church that refused to allow an African American couple to marry in their facility. Of the articles, the USA TODAY article contained the most detailed information and can be found HERE. There are two concerns, the most obvious of which is the report that the church denied this couple the opportunity to marry in their own church, apparently for no other reason than for racial bias. I for one do believe that racism is alive and well in our nation. But one would think that organizations had a handle on such small mindedness. Racist individuals? Sure, they’re still around. Racism in churches? Heaven weeps.

The other concern was the response of Pastor Stan Weatherford, who allegedly came forward expressing his “personal” disappointment with the decision, but was unwilling to take a stand because he feared losing his job. My question would be, “what kind of job do you think you have?” Evidently this Pastor has employment with First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Mississippi. But not a ministry.

As a Pastor who has served local churches for nearly three decades, I understand the dynamics of church leadership. I am familiar with the pressures that come from the people in the pew and how certain church members can leverage influence and money to garner their way in “their” church. I know what it is like to sit before leadership boards and councils and to have hard conversations about important decisions. But I also realize that one day I will ultimately stand before the final judge and give an account for the ministry that I have been entrusted. There comes a time in every minister’s life when he or she has to determine who to please. Those who choose to please people all of the time at any cost have jobs with benefits and paychecks. Those who ultimately choose to please God may find themselves from time to time rejected by their employers. But at least they have their reputation in tact before God.

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