My home state of Mississippi surprises me sometimes by how much progress they’ve made in getting over racism. And then sometimes, it surprises me in a less welcome way.
Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson have been going to the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs. They’re African-American, and most of the congregation is white. When they got ready to have the ceremony, a few of the senior members pitched a fit.
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.
The church’s pastor, who had been planning to perform the ceremony in First Baptist, now says he’s working with the congregation to talk this out. He went ahead and married the couple, just not in First Baptist. Whatever political messages are there to be taken from this, it reminds me on a personal level of how far we have to go.
UPDATE: Mayor Sally Garland of Crystal Springs says she’s heartbroken about this. ”Maybe it’s a wake-up call for people to say we’re not standing for this,” she tells the Jackson Clarion-Ledger. “This is not OK. For us to be as successful of a place as I want it to be, we have to do it together.”