Black Couple Denied Wedding Service At White Church In Mississippi
A Jackson couple said their big wedding plans were dashed by a white church in Crystal Springs because they are black, and the city’s mayor said she is “heartbroken” about the church’s decision. Charles Wilson said it was a huge disappointment that he and his wife couldn’t get married at the mostly white Crystal Springs church they attended because of the color of their skin.
“I feel like it was blatant racial discrimination,” Wilson said today in a phone interview. Wilson said that he and his wife Te’Andrea had sent out invitations and the printed program with their wedding date of July 21 at First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs.
But the couple had to change their plans after some members of First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs didn’t want the black couple to be married there, the pastor told WLBT.
The church’s pastor, Rev. Stan Weatherford, married the couple, but moved the ceremony to a nearby church. Weatherford acknowledged some members of the church were concerned about the black couple being married in the church. No black couple has been married in the church in recent memory.
Wilson said he had been attending the church for about a month and his now wife had been attending for more than a year.
“Prior to this, I had been telling people how nice they were here,” Wilson said. “It makes you reevaluate things.” The church pastor said he was surprised by the reaction of some church members.
“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,” said Weatherford, according to WLBT.
“Maybe it’s a wake-up call for people to say we’re not standing for this,” she said. “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.”
“I will not have it.”
Garland said she hasn’t yet made plans to discuss what happened with Weatherford, but insists she will not allow the actions of a few people to destroy the town’s reputation.
“Sometimes you need a storm because they make you stronger,” she said. “We will be stronger. We will not be anything else other than unified.”