Mississippi church refuses to wed black couple

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Crystal Springs, Mississippi – They had set the date. Printed up and mailed out all the invitations, but the day before wedding bells were to ring for Charles and Te’Andrea, they say they got some bad news from the pastor.

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

The Wilsons were trying to get married at the predominantly white first baptist church of Crystal Springs. A church they attend regularly, but are not members of.

“We couldn’t have the wedding at the church,” said bride TeAndra Wilson. “He had people in the sanctuary that were pitching a fit about us being a black couple. I didn’t like it at all cause i wasn’t brought up to be racist, i was brought up in the church all my life to love and care for everybody.”

Church 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 before so it was setting a new precedent and there those who reacted to that because of that.”

Weatherford went on and performed the wedding at a nearby church.

“I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church and I certainly didn’t want a controversy to effect the wedding of Charles and TeAndra. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day.”

After months of planning, the newlyweds say they had no choice but to go through with the wedding at the new location, but still can’t understand why a church would ban them because of race.

“I blame the first baptist church of crystal springs i blame those members who knew and call themselves christians and didn’t stand up,” Charles adds.

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

“I was prepared to just go ahead and do the wedding here just like it was planned and just like we agreed to,” Weatherford said. “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.”

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