A Georgia church that was charged with being racist, has been kicked out of the Southern Baptist Convention on Monday but if they atone, all is forgiven, reports USA Today.
Raleigh White Baptist Church in Albany was accused of discriminating against a predominantly black congregation called New Seasons, that shared it’s church building. Over the years, the black congregation had been outgrowing the small white Raleigh congregation and it appears that jealously reared its ugly head.
The Southern Baptist Convention determined that there was “clear evidence of the church’s intentional discriminatory acts,” and Raleigh was expelled.
This means that Raleigh White Baptist Church doesn’t have a church until it repents for its sins with New Seasons. A mediator will be called in to help the churches biblically settle their dispute.
Hans Wunch, director of missions for the Mallary Baptist Association, has tried to facilitate the dispute between Raleigh White and New Seasons. But says about the mediation:
“We have not heard anything from them about that,” Wunch said. “We have no indication that they have any desire to do that.”
Raleigh White Baptist Church purposely scheduled a major event during New Seasons’ worship time. It was obvious to many that it was blatant disrespect and had to do with race.
“It was because of the color of their skin that they were turned away at the door,” Wunch said. “That was kind of the final straw.”
“We kept trying to say, ‘No, this isn’t racism. This is something else,’” Wunch said. “We desperately wanted it to be bad communication, but when all that went down, it’s like, we can’t ignore this.”
Wunch said he’s happy the Southern Baptist Convention decided this could be settled amicably.
“This is an extraordinary moment because the Southern Baptist Convention has talked about trying to heal race relations for quite some time, but this is tangible,” Wunch said.
On the other hand, New Seasons has left the building and decided to join forces with another church in the association, Wunch said.