The wedding of Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson at First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs should have been a joyous occasion, instead it shows us how racism still has hold in the USA.
The BBC has an audio clip detailing matters.
The Guardian explains:
“God’s love is colour-blind. Not so, it seems, when it comes to the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs in Mississippi.
Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson, an African American couple from nearby Jackson, were all set for their big wedding day on Saturday at the 150-year-old church that they have been attending regularly for months. The sanctuary of the church had been arranged, the rehearsal was set for Friday, invitations had been sent out to friends extending a “special thank you to the First Baptist Church and members”.
Then, at about 5.10pm on Thursday evening Te’Andrea received a call. Some of the congregation of the church, which is largely white, had seen a group of black women setting up the sanctuary for the wedding and complained to the pastor.
“If the pastor married her, because they were black then they would vote him out,” Te’Andrea was told. The wedding was off.
“When I got the news I couldn’t believe it at first,” Charles Wilson told the Jackson Clarion-Leader. “This is not a matter of colour for me, it’s about God, and what better place to get married than God’s sanctuary. God’s love is colour blind.”
Wilson confronted the pastor, Stan Weatherford, and asked him what had happened. According to Wilson, he replied that he had “received all sorts of phone calls, text messages, and it was just not going to happen”.
Later, Weatherford told the local channel WLBT News that weddings of black couples had never happened before in the church, “so it was setting a precedent, and there were those who reacted to that”. He added: “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.”
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