A black couple in Mississippi planning to get married in the predominantly white church they often attend was barred from having their wedding there due to objections from members of the congregation.
Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson were looking forward to exchanging their vows in the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. The couple had planned everything; the date was set, the invitations were printed and mailed out, pastor Stan Weatherford was ready-- then they received horrible news.
"The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church," Charles told WLBT. He says that congregants threatened to expel Weatherford from the church if he performed the ceremony.
"He had people... that were pitching a fit about us being a black couple," Te'Andrea added. "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."
Dr. Weatherford told WLBT that he was surprised by his congregation's opposition to the wedding.
"This had never been done before here," he said of marrying a black couple, "so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that."
The pastor ended up marrying the couple at another church.
"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," he said. "I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day."
The now-happily married couple still struggles to understand what happened to them.
"I blame the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs," Charles told WLBT. "I blame those members who knew and call themselves Christians and didn't stand up," he added.
Another Baptist church, Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Pike County, Kentucky, made headlines last November when it banned interracial couples from becoming members or taking part in church functions.