A local Kentucky church has reportedly voted to ban interracial couples from becoming church members or to worship under their roof, after one interracial couple showed up. The Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Pike County made the decision with the “best of intentions,” no doubt, saying they did it “to promote greater unity among the church body.”
David Edwards at The Raw Story reports:
Melvin Thompson, former pastor of Gulnare Freewill Baptist church, proposed the ban after Stella Harville brought her fiance, Ticha Chikuni, to services in June. Harville, who goes by the name Suzie, played the piano while Chikuni sang.
Before stepping down as pastor in August, Thompson told Harville that her fiance could not sing at the church again. Harville is white and Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe, is black.
Last Sunday, church members voted 9-6 in favor of Thompson’s proposed ban. Others attending the church business meeting declined to take a stand on the issue.
“That the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church does not condone interracial marriage,” the resolution states, according to WKYT.
“Parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services and other church functions, with the exception being funerals. All are welcome to our public worship services. This recommendation is not intended to judge the salvation of anyone, but is intended to promote greater unity among the church body and the community we serve.”
Harville told The Kentucky Herald-Leader that the decision is an embarrassment to God, the church and the whole community.
“It sure ain’t Christian,” she explained. “It ain’t nothing but the old devil working.”
The question, aside from the obvious, “What is wrong with these people?,” is, is this even legal?
Gulnare is also listed as the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church, but no record of them could be found online.
The couple is planning their July wedding which will take place out of Pike County.
WYMT also talked to Harville’s parents who are members at the church. During the church’s Wednesday meeting, they will ask the church to change its decision.
If not, then they plan to leave the church and look for a new church to worship.
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