Not a Nice Day for a Black Wedding

We live in a post-racial America. Oh wait. No, I’m sorry. I meant to say that America is still a super racist place. Like, telling-a-black-couple-they-can’t-get-married-in-our-church racist. Wow.

Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson were regular attendees of the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs in Mississippi and they wanted to get married in that church. As people are wont to do. No big deal.

No big deal if you’re cool with non-white people, that is. According to WLBT,

“The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry her, then they would vote him out the church,” said Charles Wilson.

What year is this? Did I wake up in 1948? Oh, to be a fly on the wall as that discussion was initiated. How does one broach that subject? Usually right here I would write some kind of snarky script, but I genuinely cannot fathom what it must be like to live in the head of racists.

Evidently, this whole ordeal came as a shock to the pastor of Mississippi church, Dr. Stan Weatherford.

“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.

“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.

Okay, avoid controversy by totally screwing a couple of innocent people. Seems a little squirrely, but what do I know about running a congregation? According to the Clarion Ledger, Weatherford performed the ceremony, just in another venue.

So, it’s okay for the pastor of the church to perform the wedding as long as it’s not in the church building? What is going on here? What do these people think will happen? Black cooties?

The situation arose because of complaints by a handful of people and it’s a decision that at least a few church members are upset about. According to the Clarion Ledger,

Casey Kitchens said she and other members of the congregation are outraged by the church’s refusal to marry a black couple, a decision she says most of the congregation 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.”

The whole thing is gross and embarrassing on a very human level. Then there’s this little cherry on top of the giant bigotry sundae. Again, according to WLBT:

Church officials say they welcome any race into their congregation. They now plan to hold internal meetings on how to move forward, should this situation occur again.

Ha. No. Clearly, this congregation does not welcome any race. And I have a feeling that, after this, you won’t have to worry about those uppity black people (or other people) for a while.

Related posts:

Interracial Couples Not Welcome in Kentucky Church

Church’s Ban on Interracial Couple “Null and Void”

46 Percent of Mississippi Republicans Want Interracial Marriage Banned

Image credit: ffg


Aurolyn L.
Aurolyn L5 years ago

Martha, I would turn your question around. You wrote; "if the couple attended that church anyway, why were they blocked from marrying in it?" My question is "If the church had members that would object to them marrying, why in the world did they attend there?"

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle5 years ago

I know..... The whole thing is terribly bizarre and 1950s.

It's so bad, I shouldn't even try to get some sane answer to this question -- BUT -- if the couple attended that church anyway, why were they blocked from marrying in it? Their faces were known; they attended church there: what "small" faction is allowed to make this decision without the minister having a say in it? As I continue, this gets crazier, because the minister didn't want to upset the congregation, so he has no balls anyway, to tell those people that what they DECIDED was not christian, not allowed in 2012 by good people. I shouldn't have started writing, because to try to make sense out of this totally, overtly racist people, is impossible.

Amber Martingale
Angela Roquemore5 years ago

There is only one race: THE HUMAN RACE!

Alicia N.
Alicia N5 years ago

this kind of things make me so sad.......

Vivianne Mosca-Clark

There are some mean spirited people in that church.

DNA proves we are all one species. Where are no subs species in homo sapiens.

I hope this will penetrate the humans every where.

I approve of the minister. He made sure the couple could have a nice wedding.

Personally?....I would rather have my marriage in a different church then the one that was rude to me.

My hope is that their union will be wonder for them.

MEGAN N5 years ago

As for those who attack the pastor, imagine for a minute that you are in his shoes. If any of you has ever gotten married or known someone who has, you know how important this particular day is to the couple (especially the bride). Knowing and understanding that try to imagine the position these jerks protesting put the pastor in... Not only did they threaten his job if he went ahead with the ceremony (which he did in spite of this threat) but they promised to protest and probably ruin the wedding. In the future when these folks look back at their wedding they will have a story with a minor blemish on their perfect day but they will be able to look at it as a badge of honor and proof of their strength. I believe this, and I partly believe this because they will not have to remember walking into the church past people who wish me ill, or saying my vows of matrimony with chanting protesters in the background outside. Moving the venue to another church was probably the kindest thing to do under the circumstances to preserve the memory of the day for the bride and the groom. Sometimes it is best to stand up and fight and sometimes it is best to refuse to give your opponent the satisfaction and simply walk away to fight another day.

I think they did the right thing because it was what was best for them, it was their day and they deserve to have it unspoiled by negative memories of excess conflict. This way they have their day as unspoiled as possible under the circumst

MEGAN N5 years ago

I usually try to see both sides of any argument but this one is indefensible. These people were wrong and nasty to try to ruin this couples wedding. In a day in age when marriage rates are falling and the numbers of single mothers are on the rise this couple should be celebrated for showing the commitment to each other to want to marry. They should not be punished because they are the wrong color.

I am from upstate NY so I have lived a very different life from the people in the south and I understand that there are vast differences in cultures in our country but still I can not imagine a culture where this type of behavior is acceptable. I will try to reserve judgement on the congregation and community that produced such bigots however and assume that the protesters were simply a few bad apples left over from a (thankfully) bygone age.

Lee Witton
5 years ago

Does it really matter what Jesus ethnicity was? Seriously, to make any of this controversial is absurd. There should be no difference what color any of us are. We have the same basic makeup as human beings. There should never have been "much prayer" by the congregation about the couple being married in the church. We are a racist, bigoted society and to declare otherwise doesn't stand in the face of reality.

Robert Pavlick
Robert Pavlick5 years ago

JT S says: "As for why the black population can accept Christianity, one must remember that Jesus was never a white boy himself."

Well, no, Jesus wasn't an Anglo, but he certainly wasn't a Nubian either. The objection to Christianity would be more due to the fact that Christianity allowed slavery, but then so did Judaism and Islam so go figure. In fact, it was the Islamic Africans of northwestern Africa who furnished all the slaves to the European slave traders.

Angela Burrow
Angela Burrow5 years ago

I am absolutely speechless! This is appalling, there is no other word for it.