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  1. #1
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    First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, MS cancels minority wedding

    I would have believed this was a hoax if it werent for the statement from the minister.

    http://www.wlbt.com/story/19125864/b...rch?hpt=us_bn8
    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.
    Weatherford went on and performed the wedding at a nearby church.
    The couple who booked the wedding attend the church regularly, but are not members. And I guess now they dont intend to be.
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  2. #2
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    Racism is alive and well in 2012. My husband, born in Lompoc CA, and of Mexican heritage (although both of his parents were born here in the US, and his mom's mom was Caucasian) will tell you that.

    And you would think that those experiencing racism would band together, but I was shocked to learn that Mexicans don't like Puerto Ricans don't like African Americans don't like Hispanics don't like darker/lighter (whatever they're not), etc., etc.

    (I know I wrote it kind of funny up there, but that's just to illustrate the circuitous relationships between these different groups)

    My husband was out mowing the lawn of his very nice house one day when a man pulled up and said, "Is the owner at home?", thinking, I suppose, that anyone who was Mexican must be a landscaper. My husband looked him right in the eye and said, "I AM the owner."

    Yep. It's alive and well in 2012.

  3. #3
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    At first, when seeing this post, I was upset at the "small minority" in the congregation that were upset about an AA couple getting married in their church, but more upset at the pastor.

    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.*
    "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,"*said Weatherford.
    "I was prepared to go ahead and do the wedding here just like it was planned, and just like we agreed to," said Weatherford. "I was just looking for an opportunity to be able to address a need within our congregation and at the same time minister to them."
    from OP

    It appears he didn't expect it to be an issue and disagreed with the parishioners, but a pastor is supposed to lead, and in this instance, he cowed to a few vocal, mean voices. He missed an opportunity to fulfill his role as teacher, shepherd, and leader, IMO.

    There is a progression described in the Bible for how to deal with those in obvious error. Link. I would've rather seen him taking these few members into his office, shut the door, ask them to state their concerns, then hand them a Bible and say, "Point to the verse supporting your position." When they couldn't, I wish he'd have said, "You're in error. This is a Christian couple who attends here, and they will be getting married here, period."

    Had they threatened his job, he should've said, "Fine. You can vote me out. After I marry this loving, Christian couple." (Of course, it seems like many church members were unaware of what was happening (I'll post that in a minute), so I bet his job was safe.) But a pastor should be willing to put his job on the line to honor God and do the right thing, IMO.

    Had they threatened to leave the church, I wish he'd said, "That's up to you. I'd suggest going home and praying and getting your hearts right with God."

    Next step w/b to deal with these few with a small group confronting them, then if they still were recalcitrant, the entire church. Wish that had happened.

    I am glad the pastor informed the couple of the few's objections, but I'd rather he'd encouraged them to have the ceremony there and round up other congregants to make sure the few posed no distraction/disruption at the church, not just moved it. If you're uncomfortable with controversy, pastor may not be the best career choice. Maybe a different position of service in the church would be a better fit.

    His capitulation to the angry, racist few implies that both parties were somehow in the wrong and needed to reach a compromise. I understand blessed are the peacemakers, but the Bible also calls for boldness at times. IMO, the way he handled this really calls whether he is ready/able to stand up and lead a congregation in to question.

    If this church offers weddings to other nonmembers, this couple should not have been excluded.

  4. #4
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    Black couple says white church banned wedding; Crystal Springs mayor 'heartbroken'

    Casey Kitchens, 37, attends First Baptist Church where she also married her husband, Matthew, the son of Miss. Supreme Court Justice Jim Kitchens.

    She said she and other members of the congregation are outraged by the church's refusal to marry a black couple, a decision most of them knew nothing about.

    "This is a small, small group of people who made a terrible decision," Kitchens said. "I'm just ashamed right now that my church would do that. I can't fathom why. How unfair. How unjust. It's just wrong."
    more here (2 pgs)

  5. #5
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    I wish I could say that bigotry doesn't exist in the year 2012, but it does.

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacie Estes View Post
    I wish I could say that bigotry doesn't exist in the year 2012, but it does.
    It sure does! And it seems curiously emboldened at the same time some people insist racism has ended "because we have a black president."

    Surely we all know things are bad when Seek&Find and I are agreeing!

    I'm going to follow Seek's lead and refrain from calling the pastor names. I realize the clergy are also human and sometimes stumble.

    But Dr. Weatherford should have provided a better model of integrity than he did here. I know there are a lot of preachers who would have done so.

  7. #7
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    For the record, Nova, I bet we'd find many points of agreement if we sat down to lunch one day.

  8. #8
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    I agree that Weatherford failed. I guess in the end it was easier to break the heart of this couple than face the angry bigots who decried the wedding to begin with.

    I am sure that he will experience some feedback from the court of popular opinion as a result.
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  9. #9
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    This makes me so angry! There is nothing worse than a religious hypocrite in my opinion. That 'small group' within the church are wrong. I question their true christianity as well as the ministers' ability to lead and set an example for his congregation. He did not stand up for what he thought was right if, in fact, he did think it was right. I see a problem with the minister and the "small group'.

    What this 'small group' of people should have been seeing is a bride and groom, not two people of a different color. I do not hesitate to call it as I see it - racial descrimination. Even if the 'small group' use the excuse of, "Well, they are not members here.", it is still descrimination, IMO. The only objection I could see anyone making is if the couple were of a different religion than the church represents. The couple weren't a different religion because they had attended the church. Quite a few couples book churches for their wedding they do not attend (but are of the same faith) because they need a large church, OR they want a smaller, more intimate church.

    I always hesitate to discuss religion, but reading this article just made me mad. The minister and the 'small group' are setting an extremely bad example for the young people and children of that church. This is just my opinion and one that is coming from a ministers' daughter.

    MOO
    Thoughts and prayers for the people of Paris and all of France!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by believe09 View Post
    I agree that Weatherford failed. I guess in the end it was easier to break the heart of this couple than face the angry bigots who decried the wedding to begin with.

    I am sure that he will experience some feedback from the court of popular opinion as a result.
    I think the minister took and 'easy out' that may come back to haunt him!

    ETA: Even though Dr. Weatherford performed the wedding at another church, I still question him for caving in the first place.
    Last edited by LaLaw2000; 07-27-2012 at 08:27 PM. Reason: to add another statement
    Thoughts and prayers for the people of Paris and all of France!


  11. #11
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    Absolutely disgusting.

    Next i will be reading that they only allow White members with blonde hair and blue eyes...

    Very Christian of them.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seek&Find View Post
    For the record, Nova, I bet we'd find many points of agreement if we sat down to lunch one day.
    I have no doubt, my internet friend. In fact, I'll wager we agree more than we disagree. I was just making a joke above. (Great posts in this thread, BTW!)

  13. #13
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    Since I've criticized Weatherford above, I should stop and give him credit for performing the marriage elsewhere.

    And while I'm not a Baptist, I was raised in a similar congregationalist-type sect, The Disciples of Christ. Members of denominations with hierarchies (Catholics, Episcopalians, Mormons, etc.) may not realize that in groups such as the Baptists and the Disciples, the congregation itself is the ruling body of the church. When I was a Disciple, we weren't "sent" a priest. We advertised and interviewed candidates (who took turns giving sermons) and then voted as a congregation.

    Now I still think Dr. Weatherford should have donned his Big-Boy pants and stood up to bigotry, but the relationship between congregation and minister among the Baptists is, I believe, quite different than among, say, the Catholics. In essence, the congregation is the Reverend's "boss". I don't know if or how much that may have complicated his decision.

    If I am misrepresenting Baptist churches, I trust someone will correct me.

  14. #14
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    I dont know about Baptist, but I know about Congregationalist. The people, for lack of a better characterization, are the boss.

    But. And there is a big but here-what exactly was Weatherford trying to save here? Did he figure he would perform it at another church and address it later? Did he hope that public outcry would do the job for him?

    I dont know. I am disappointed because if nothing else, Jesus threw down for those who were voiceless. Fortunately, for those who are believers, he also came to represent everyone who chose to believe in him. But the poor and the downtrodden and the voiceless were his first congregants. At least that is how I recall it. For a church and the leader of that church to choose to draw a line in the sand about something like this, and for that leader to think it was OK to carve out a "middle road" which essentially favored the bigots...I dont know. I just dont know.

    This is NOT a "What would Jesus do" moment.
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  15. #15
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    As a resident of Mississippi, this is such a disappointing story to read. I am so upset with this pastor. There are bigots/racists in all walks of life, but when a man of God cows to them that is a very sad thing. I agree with everything you said Seek&Find, you said it so much better than I ever could.
    "Words can break someone into a million pieces, but they can also put them back together. I hope you use yours for good, because the only words you'll regret more than the ones left unsaid are the ones you use to intentionally hurt someone."

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