The Clarion-Ledger newspaper of Jackson, MS, is running an article today detailing overt racism at a church that is evidently affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, according to the Mississippi Baptist Convention’s church directory and on the SBCnet church search. There is nothing on their website that identifies the church as Southern Baptist (thank God). However, they are listed on both the SBC and MBC websites as part of us and the stain of their racism is on all of us until we do something about it.
I would encourage you to follow the link above and read the story before you go any farther.
The pastor of the church, First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Dr. Stan Weatherford, was planning to perform the marriage of an African-American couple at the church. According to the story, members of his church were upset that a black couple were to be married at the church and complained about it. Dr. Weatherford moved the wedding to another church and performed the wedding.
Weatherford admitted, according to the story, the general truth of the story and that the reason people at his church were upset was that the couple was black. The story quotes Weatherford as follows:
“I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church and I didn’t want a controversy to effect the wedding of Charles and Te’ Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day.”
When Dwight McKissic told me this Christ-demeaning stuff went on, I didn’t want to believe him (I believed him, I just didn’t WANT to!). Now, the only question is, what will we do?
Will we turn a blind eye to racism, as so often we have in the past? Or will we act to demonstrate as a convention that this will not be tolerated in the SBC anymore?
Of course, the solution here is for First Baptist Church, Crystal Springs to publicly and genuinely repent of this horrific action. My hope and prayer is that they would do this quickly. They should repudiate the racism of some of their members publicly and without equivocation.
If they do not, then the SBC, the MBC, and the Copiah County Baptist Association should pass resolutions condemning this act of racism at their earliest opportunity, should refuse to seat messengers from this church at their meetings, and should take whatever steps are necessary to demonstrate to our black brethren and to the world at large that when we said we would no longer tolerate racism, we meant it!