An Open Letter to the Pastor Who Banned Interracial Couples
[Update 12/5/2011: The Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church has voted to overturn last week's ban against interracial couples.]
A tiny eastern Kentucky church banned interracial couples from its congregation, after a member invited her Black South African fiance to sing at a service. No, this didn't happen in the pre-Civil Rights era. It took place in 2011.
Pastor Melvin Thompson, who made this decision, is no longer with the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church, but he defends his recommendation, saying it was "intended to promote greater unity among the church body and community" The current pastor, Stacy Stepp, says the church and the national denomination will probably overturn the ban. But Donna Sparrow, one of the bloggers at Multicultural Familia, has an open letter to Pastor Melvin Thompson -- from one Christian to another. Here's an excerpt:
The people who my husband and I have loved and lost, and even those before them, the ones who have gone home ahead of us…they are all in the same Heaven. Did you know that? I guess I assumed that, as a pastor, you would have that specific knowledge. My bad. I was surprised to hear that your idea of unification involved segregation. As a Christian myself, I was disappointed that you don’t hold a much broader and inclusive definition of the word UNITY.