Crystal Springs Leaders and Residents Sound Alarm to Reject Racism and Embrace UnityBy Lawayne Childrey | Published 30 Jul 2012 11:58pm |
The City of Crystal Springs is calling for unity in the wake of a predominately white church denying a black couple to marry in its sanctuary. MPB's Lawayne Childrey attended a prayer vigil last night where community leaders and residents began praying for healing.
More than two hundred people stood in the town square singing songs and offering prayers for racial reconciliation. The prayer vigil comes on the heels of an event that happened earlier this month where the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs blocked a black couple from getting married in its sanctuary. Te'Andrea and Charles Wilson say they received the news the day before their scheduled wedding.
"I was so devastated and hurt, I didn't even know what to do and even to this day I'm not pleased with it."
"We did not get married in the church that we had wanted to get married in because of the color of our skin. We did not walk in and say we don’t wanna get married because we're black. And if this is happening still in Mississippi what other small towns is it still happening in?"
"Why was the couple offered the opportunity to marry in the church and then it was taken away?
"I really don't want to go into great details because we are absolutely dealing with some issues in our church family."
Stan Weatherford is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs.
"Hindsight's 20/20 and you know we look at some things and say well, you know. Yeah sometimes if we could do some things differently we would. But at the same time I tried to do, I tried to do the most loving thing I knew how to do."
The controversy has drawn unsolicited attention to the Copiah County town of 5000 people. That's why residents, clergy and city leaders are uniting to begin what they call community days.
"We're gonna be the model of racial reconciliation here."
Jonathan Thompson is the Community Relations Director.
"We're gonna get into the churches so that we can really deeply understand each other’s background. cultures, struggles, all those different things."
While city leaders are looking for ways to unite the community The Wilson's say the controversy is far from over. They are currently seeking legal guidance on how they should proceed. Lawayne Childrey MPB News.
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