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Thread: First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, MS cancels minority wedding

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by momtective View Post
    Have y'all looked at the church website? http://www.roc.fbccrystalsprings.org/rocphotos.html I'm not at all surprised by the attitude of the congregation...disappointed but not surprised. jmo
    I believe this Pastor made the decision he made because the men with the "money", those who actually pay his salary; said "not NO but "*$&& NO!"
    It wasn't the whole congregation. Many weren't even aware this was happening until after the fact. See link and quote^^. It was a vocal few who need to examine their hearts and minds. I hope the scrutiny causes some reflection.

    The groom seems gracious. I do think the pastor meant well, just didn't do well.

    Wilson told the newspaper that he understands Weatherford was caught in a difficult position and he still likes the pastor, but he also thinks the pastor should have stood up to the members who didn't want the couple to marry in the church.
    "It's not reflective of the spirit of the Lord and Mississippi Baptists," the Mississippi Baptist Convention executive director, the Rev. Jim Futral, said. "It's just a step backward. ... It's a sad thing."
    link

    Thankfully, it looks like other parishioners, the mayor, townsfolk, Baptist leaders and others are speaking out.

    The vast majority of Crystal Springs residents, blacks and whites alike, were "blown away" by the church's decision, said Theresa Norwood, 48, who was born in Crystal Springs and has lived there her entire life.
    While the Wilsons were not members of the church, they often attended services there, and Te'Andrea's uncle is an employee of the church, and her father is a member. Charles Wilson told WAPT that the couple had planned to join as members after their wedding, which was planned for July 20.
    link

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  3. #27
    Insiders say five or six members went to the Rev. Stan Weatherford after seeing the couple's wedding rehearsal the Thursday night before their Saturday wedding.
    "If you're for Christ, you can't straddle the fence," Wilson said of Weatherford. "He knew it was wrong."
    link

    Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland said she is heartbroken about the church's decision and its potential ramifications on the community.

    "I would hate for a few people to be a reflection of our whole town because it's not that way," she said. "We pride ourselves on unity. We don't want to be known for that."

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

    "Maybe it's a wake-up call for people to say we're not standing for this," she said. "This is not OK. For us to be as successful of a place as I want it to be, we have to do it together."
    more here, including community event

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  5. #28
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    Since I am sometimes critical of Christians and their beliefs, I want to reiterate how surprised I am by this whole event. I don't for a moment think it represents "most" Christians, not even most Christians in Mississippi. (And as Seek points out, it may not even represent a majority of Weatherford's own congregation.)

    I do think something weird has happened since the election of the current president. It's as if a racist minority has been emboldened by any and all criticism of this President and now feels free to express all sorts of racist bigotry. This is by no means the fault of those who exercise their constitutional right to criticize the President, nor am I saying that all such criticism is racially motivated.

    But I am hearing and reading racist assertions that I have not heard since I was a kid in the segregated South.

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  7. #29

    Crystal Springs residents: racial intolerance does not represent town

    "When I first heard the story, I just thought it wasn't God," Wolfe said. "If you think there is one God, it doesn't matter what color you are."
    "We're all God's children. There's no color," she said. "This is not the people's temple. They are in God's house. This is God's temple."
    "This is not a reflection of our city," Garland said, referencing a passage from John 17: 'I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one - I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity.'
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  9. #30
    I don't see it as politically related at all. The five or six church members were concerned with skin color, not political affiliation.

    I think it's good so many of us are shocked, and I think those subjected to racism are more likely to cry foul and stand up for themselves, due to how far we've come. So what was the norm, is thankfully now so out of the ordinary, it's news.

    We humans have a tendency to group and stereotype, to varying degrees. That won't end but we can certainly diminish it by looking at ourselves.

    Racism & serving Jesus don't fit together well. This small group was very wrong, and I'm glad so many are saying so. All have sinned. Hoping this bitter few can let go of their hardheartedness and learn & grow. If not, they need to face church discipline.

    Moo
    Last edited by Seek&Find; 07-28-2012 at 09:25 PM.

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  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seek&Find View Post
    I wish I can say that I totally believe that pastor, but I don’t.
    IF he had felt NO bigotry at all, he would have known how to handle it.

    I hope the couple goes to court.
    then the crap MAY shake out.
    They better find another Church.
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  13. #32
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    I would have loved for the pastor to hold an open meeting in the church (members, non-members, the press) to bring the issue out in the open and have the "small" group of people stand up proudly and tell everyone WHY they did not wish for this wedding to be held.

    Bet they wouldn't utter a peep.

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  15. #33
    From seeing the pastor on the video, and from the groom's comments, I think he was sincere. He strikes me as having a timid demeanor.

    I do wish, when the handful said they'd never had a black couple married here, he'd have said, "Well then, it's about time we did!" winked and walked out of his office.

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  17. #34
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    I suspect Pastor Weatherford will be relocated unless he steps up. This is a character building exercise for sure. I believe that he didnt know what to do and felt he had appeased both sides....I do believe that.

    I am glad the church and the town are having a chance to have some dialogue now.
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  19. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by momtective View Post
    Have y'all looked at the church website? http://www.roc.fbccrystalsprings.org/rocphotos.html I'm not at all surprised by the attitude of the congregation...disappointed but not surprised. jmo
    I believe this Pastor made the decision he made because the men with the "money", those who actually pay his salary; said "not NO but "*$&& NO!"
    I suspect you are right. It was my first inclination. Not knocking anybody, but organized religion is a business. . .and times are tough. I don't condone what this pastor did. . .but I understand his dilemma.
    The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.--Albert Einstein

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  21. #36
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    There has never been a black wedding at the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Miss., since its founding in 1883. According to Pastor Stan Weatherford, some church members objected so strongly to breaking that precedent, they threatened to oust him from his pastorship.
    Rather than risk his job, Weatherford, who is white, said he decided to marry the pair at a black church down the road.
    If this is accurately reported, this pretty much closes the loop for me. I wish them all healing!!

    link here
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  23. #37
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    I was all set to play Devil's Advocate and share my story of being told by TWO churches that we couldn't have our wedding there because we were not members nor did we have family who were. (we were getting married in a different city from which we live), but I see that this church DOES allow non-members to have weddings there, so never mind.

    That's just WRONG.

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  25. #38
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    What a spineless pastor! Hope those that caused the problem for this couple don't break their necks when they fall off their high horses....see ya in church!
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  27. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seek&Find View Post
    I don't see it as politically related at all. The five or six church members were concerned with skin color, not political affiliation....
    If racism isn't "political", what is it?

    My point wasn't that the couple in question were banned from marrying at the church because they were presumed to support Barack Obama.

    My point was that people who once kept their racist beliefs to themselves seem to conflate their own prejudices with all criticism of the President. And so even the fairest criticism of Obama seems to embolden them to openly display their racist hatred.

    There's no question in my mind that such incidents have increased since 2008. Of course the bad economy is a factor (fear brings out the worst in folks), but it's hard not to see a connection between the first African-American president and a sudden increase in overt racism. IMO, obviously.

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    Quote Originally Posted by oh_gal View Post
    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 atLhome?", 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.
    BBM I answered the door one day when I was eight months prego. It was my ex-hubby's uncle whom we were expecting. He asked me if my father was home, LOL, and that was my 6th kid. Sometimes I believe people just say weird stuff.

    Other people wanted to hire my "Mexican" son to do yard work for them, and we're of Germanic heritage. Go figure.

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  31. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seek&Find View Post
    I don't see it as politically related at all. The five or six church members were concerned with skin color, not political affiliation.

    I think it's good so many of us are shocked, and I think those subjected to racism are more likely to cry foul and stand up for themselves, due to how far we've come. So what was the norm, is thankfully now so out of the ordinary, it's news.

    We humans have a tendency to group and stereotype, to varying degrees. That won't end but we can certainly diminish it by looking at ourselves.

    Racism & serving Jesus don't fit together well. This small group was very wrong, and I'm glad so many are saying so. All have sinned. Hoping this bitter few can let go of their hardheartedness and learn & grow. If not, they need to face church discipline.

    Moo
    I hope they are allowed to act according to their own conscience, the same as everyone else. After all, that is a God-given right (as in free will), isn't it?

  32. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    If racism isn't "political", what is it?

    My point wasn't that the couple in question were banned from marrying at the church because they were presumed to support Barack Obama.

    My point was that people who once kept their racist beliefs to themselves seem to conflate their own prejudices with all criticism of the President. And so even the fairest criticism of Obama seems to embolden them to openly display their racist hatred.

    There's no question in my mind that such incidents have increased since 2008. Of course the bad economy is a factor (fear brings out the worst in folks), but it's hard not to see a connection between the first African-American president and a sudden increase in overt racism. IMO, obviously.
    It's immoral and has existed for thousands of years, between different ethnic groups, tribes, etc.

    Regarding this situation, I wouldn't be surprised to find out these few were a couple generations older and hadn't really challenged old mindsets, as opposed to a new circumstance eliciting it.

    But, we can disagree about that bit. At least we've all agreed it was wrong!
    Last edited by Seek&Find; 07-29-2012 at 10:34 PM.

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  34. #43
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    This is the appropriate place for this post. It's off topic but I think it's on topic enough to put on this thread.

    I had a conversation with a lesbian friend the other day. We were talking about the word tolerance and how tolerance is being focused on as of late. Tolerance for any minority (race, creed, religion, sexual orientation). All the minorities.

    And she said speaking from one of the minorities that she personally doesn't want to be just tolerated. She couldn't care less if anyone else is able to *tolerate* her life choices.

    But she paused and she said: "I don't care about tolerance, I care about equality, I want to be treated equally I don't give a flying "Fbomb" if someone personally inside their heart or mind disagrees with me as long as they dont' "Fbomb" with my right to equality, dignity and respect".

    They can go ahead and live their lives as they wish as long as they don't stop me from living and enjoying mine but they better treat me with dignity and respect and give me my equal rights.

    I hadn't thought about that aspect. I shared it with my Son. It made me think of a more concise response my Husband gives people that openly speak about their dislike for his race. Of course, they always say "well not you...I'm talking about people in general" when they start off and he will look them in the eye and say "oh yeah? That's on YOU".

    (meaning the weight of the bigotry or prejudice is the on the person who owns it, he says he's not going to carry that weight for them that his sole focus in life isn't to go around trying to enlighten people. He's got other fish to fry. They are the one's that have to live with themselves, he shuts them down and walks away).

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  36. #44

    Church, Baptist Officials & Community Address Controversy

    "I was just trying to think about a win-win," he said Sunday. "The thing is, I'm a peacemaker, and sometimes because I'm a peacemaker it gets me in trouble. The thing about it is this: I love the people of our church and that's the bottom line."
    Ray Henderson said he thought his daughter and son-in-law were only going to ask for an apology for the situation, adding that the church has become a home for his family.

    "I have grown to love these people for doing things for me and my son that nobody else would," he said. "These are some honest, loving people, and since I've been coming here, they've opened their arms to us."
    good info here, including how close pastor & bride's family are.

    At services on Sunday, the congregation's leadership addressed the controversy in a statement read to the church.

    "Our many ministries here are open to everyone and have been for many years," the church deacons said in a statement read to the congregation, according to The Clarion Ledger. "We would never consider doing otherwise."
    "I wanted to come as a voice of racial reconciliation and spiritual reconciliation," said Thompson, who is African-American, explaining his decision to go to the church on Sunday.

    Thompson said he was welcomed at the service. "I was allowed to give the closing prayer," he said. He said he prayed God would forgive all of them for their sins and that they would be able to find reconciliation.
    "Mississippi Baptists both reject racial discrimination and at the same time respect the autonomy of our local churches to deal with difficulties and disagreements under the lordship of Jesus," said Dr. Jim Futral, the executive director the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
    Oldham said the local church needs to take corrective measures and he said they appear to be doing that in this case.

    "The SBC has taken a strong position that racism is a sin and Christians should always oppose it," he said, referring to the Southern Baptist Convention. "We're also grieved when a small group attempts to set policy for the entire congregation."
    "There are valid as well as nonvalid reasons for not permitting a couple to get married with the blessing of that local congregation of believers," Land said. "The race or ethnicity of that couple is never a valid reason and any local body of believers who rejects a couple on those grounds should be reprimanded."
    more here

    Sounds like everyone is handling this well, addressing the wrongs, and healing. Glad to hear it.

    Moo
    Last edited by Seek&Find; 07-31-2012 at 12:46 AM.

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  38. #45
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    Racism definitely still exists. People have this idea that because the KKK isn't lynching black people, or because we don't have separate water foundations, that racism is a thing of the past. But from reading comments on the Internet, where people are anonymous, I have realized that racism is still a huge problem. For most people, it's worst to be called a racist than to actually be one. People have this dumb idea that because they aren't a member of the KKK, they can say whatever they want, and it's not racist.

    This is like a typical conversation:

    Person #1: *says something racist*
    Person #2: You shouldn't say that. That's racist.
    Person #1: OMG HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A RACIST. I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS.

    Instead, why can't Person #1 respond this way?:

    Person #1: *says something racist*
    Person #2: You shouldn't say that. That's racist.
    Person #1: *apologizes*

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  40. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by eileenhawkeye View Post
    Racism definitely still exists. People have this idea that because the KKK isn't lynching black people, or because we don't have separate water foundations, that racism is a thing of the past. But from reading comments on the Internet, where people are anonymous, I have realized that racism is still a huge problem. For most people, it's worst to be called a racist than to actually be one. People have this dumb idea that because they aren't a member of the KKK, they can say whatever they want, and it's not racist.

    This is like a typical conversation:

    Person #1: *says something racist*
    Person #2: You shouldn't say that. That's racist.
    Person #1: OMG HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A RACIST. I HAVE BLACK FRIENDS.

    Instead, why can't Person #1 respond this way?:

    Person #1: *says something racist*
    Person #2: You shouldn't say that. That's racist.
    Person #1: *apologizes*
    eileenhawkeye, scenario #1 is a textbook learning situation with scenario #2 being the correct or somewhat ideal response. Unfortunately, some people will never learn (feel) the second response.

    It is indeed a shame.

    MOO
    **May God Watch Over All Missing and Abused Children**

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  42. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by LaLaw2000 View Post
    eileenhawkeye, scenario #1 is a textbook learning situation with scenario #2 being the correct or somewhat ideal response. Unfortunately, some people will never learn (feel) the second response.

    It is indeed a shame.

    MOO
    It is. And it also indicates the deception practiced by the human mind. People are perfectly capable of holding racist attitudes while insisting their own black friends are the "exceptions".

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  44. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nova View Post
    It is. And it also indicates the deception practiced by the human mind. People are perfectly capable of holding racist attitudes while insisting their own black friends are the "exceptions".
    I tiotally agree, Nova!
    **May God Watch Over All Missing and Abused Children**

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  46. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by believe09 View Post
    There has never been a black wedding at the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Miss., since its founding in 1883. According to Pastor Stan Weatherford, some church members objected so strongly to breaking that precedent, they threatened to oust him from his pastorship.
    Rather than risk his job, Weatherford, who is white, said he decided to marry the pair at a black church down the road.
    ***
    If this is accurately reported, this pretty much closes the loop for me. I wish them all healing!!

    link here
    A long established tradition for sure.

    JMO but it may be that one has already sold one's soul when deciding to take a job in such a congregation and it's just downhill from there.

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  48. #50

    Church Issues an Apology

    “We, the church, realize that the Hendersons and Wilsons should never have been asked to relocate their wedding. This wrong decision resulted in hurt and sadness for everyone. Both the pastor and those involved in the wedding location being changed have expressed their regrets and sorrow for their actions,” the church said.
    “As a church, we express our apology to Te’Andrea and Charles Wilson for the hurt that was brought to them in the hours preceding their wedding and beyond. We are seeking forgiveness and reconciliation with our Lord Jesus Christ, Te’Andrea and Charles, family and friends of the Hendersons and Wilsons, our church family, and our community for the actions and attitudes that have recently occurred,” the statement continued.
    link

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