A black couple in Mississippi were told they couldn’t get married at the predominantly white church they regularly attend because some church members objected to the wedding. Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson had to get married at a nearby church after the pastor of First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Dr. Stan Weatherford, informed them that they couldn’t get married at his church.
“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.
The Wilsons are not members of the church but attend regularly.
“He had people in the sanctuary that were pitching a fit about us being a black couple,” said Te’Andrea Wilson. “I didn’t like it at all, because I wasn’t brought up to be racist. I was brought up to love and care for everybody.”
Weatherford claims that he was taken by surprise by the “small minority” that objected—but Weatherford apparently wasn’t willing to take on that small minority and perform the wedding at First Baptist. He performed the ceremony at a nearby church. Apparently the threat to vote him from his position was enough for him to decide taking a stand was not on his agenda this week.
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“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. “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.
After months of planning, the newlyweds say they had no choice but to go through with the wedding at the new location, but they still can’t understand why a church would ban their wedding 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,” said Charles Wilson.