The predominantly White First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, stayed true to it’s Dixiecratic roots by refusing to marry a Black couple after an outcry from the congregation, reports CNN.
Charles Wilson and his now wife Te’Andrea had programs printed with their wedding date of July 21. The couple had already sent out invitations when they were told that they couldn’t be married in the church.
Wilson had been attending the church for about a month, but his wife had been a member for over a year.
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“I feel like it was blatant racial discrimination,” said Wilson in a phone interview. “Prior to this, I had been telling people how nice they were here. It makes you reevaluate things.”
See news reports here:
The church’s pastor, Rev. Stan Weatherford, still married the couple, but not in his church.
“I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church and I didn’t want a controversy to effect the wedding of Charles and Te’ Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day,” said Weatherford, according to WLBT.
Crystal Springs Mayor Sally Garland is allegedly “heartbroken” over the church’s decision because of how it potentially reflects on the town:
“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.”
Maybe the entire town isn’t like that, but there’s a good chance that the Republican half is. According to a recent study, 29 percent of Republican voters in Mississippi believe that interracial marriage should be illegal.
According to this report, at least some of them definitely live in Crystal Springs.