In this case, it’s not a question of their right to marry, but of where Mississippi newly weds Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson were to tie the knot, and of all places a church.
A Baptist church in Jackson, refused to marry the couple because they are Black.
Although they were not members of the predominantly White congregation, Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson regularly attended the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs and planned to state their vows where they worshipped.
But when a handful of members saw the wedding rehearsal they communicated their disapproval to Pastor Stan Weatherford and threatened to vote him out if he did not cooperate with their demands. Pastor Weatherford obliged. This decision forced the couple to change venues at the last minute.
Weatherford said he thought he was creating a “win-win” solution by presiding over the wedding at a neighboring church and granting his parishioners their wishes, who he said did not want to set a precedent of marrying Blacks.
“I didn’t want to have a controversy within the church, and I didn’t want a controversy to affect the wedding of Charles and Te’ Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day,” Weatherford expressed to NBC affiliate WLBT.
In an interview the Wilson’s said they were “crushed and devastated.”
The groom was disappointed in the entire church for allowing their wedding to be banned.
“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.
Church officials say all races are welcome in their church and are now discussing ways of preventing this from happening in the future.