The Crystal Springs Time Machine

By Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

Well, Albert Einstein and H.G. Wells couldn’t do it but Pastor Dr. Stan Weatherford of the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Mississippi could. Weatherford informed Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson that members of his congregation wouldn’t allow them to be married in the church and thus catapulted them back in time to Mississippi circa 1962. Seems the Wilsons violated a cardinal sin of this church — they are African-Americans. On the day before the wedding, the Wilsons were told that “The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry her, then they would vote [Weatherford] out the church.”

The Wilsons regularly attend the church but are not registered as members. They had scheduled the service weeks before and no objection had been raised at that time. Weatherford heard from what he termed a ” small minority” who complained that, “This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent.” Weatherford picked up what was left of his manhood and proceeded to perform the service at a nearby church. “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,” he said.

The day was special, but the controversy in the church has just begun.

For his part Charles Wilson is forgiving but disappointed. “I blame those members who knew and call themselves Christians and didn’t stand up,” Wilson said.

Amen, Brother Wilson. Amen.

Source: NBC News

~Mark Esposito, Guest Blogger

39 thoughts on “The Crystal Springs Time Machine”

  1. Mississippi town tries for better

    They held a rally for unity yesterday in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, the town of 5,000 or so where the mostly white First Baptist Church rejected a black couple who wanted to get married there. The white mayor, Sally Garland, had said her community wouldn’t stand for this, and she organized last night’s gathering. Some 150 people turned out.

    1. Crystal Springs is getting this right and their community will be stronger for it.

  2. Mootsman they should be welcomed in any church. period. Ever heard of Jesus and what he preached? Obviously the “minority” in that church did not.
    “If it was such a minority of people, why didn’t the majority stand up and say, ‘in God’s house we don’t do this?'” he asked
    This man was right, a very good question.

  3. They should attend a church in which they’re welcome. Simple as that. A black family attending an all white church in Mississippi? What did they think was going to happen. Self righteous liberalism should not disband common sense. Everyone has the preconceived notion that time will debilitate racism. What is the premise for this argument? Where is it written that after x amount of time ALL racism will be dismantled? I’m not entertaining the idea that all white churches will not allow this marriage but in backwoods Mississippi? Nobody should be that surprised.

  4. Members of the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs in Mississippi want the world to know that it isn’t a racist church.

    “We’re not,” Barbara Mack told WLBT-TV on her way into Sunday services. “We welcome anybody that wants to come through those doors.”

    Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson didn’t feel welcome when the church’s pastor told them the day before the wedding that the mostly white congregation had decided no black couple could wed there.

    Dr. Stan Weatherford, the pastor, said a small but vocal minority at the church objected, and threatened to vote him out if he went through with the Wilsons’ wedding.

    The couple was forced to scrap their plans and get married at another church on just one day’s notice.

    First Baptist member Ralph Miley told WLBT he hopes the church will eventually address the controversial decision.

    “Personally, I would like to apologize to the Wilsons, to their family and friends, and to the entire black community because this has happened,” he said.

    The First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Miss., forbade the wedding of a black couple in their house of worship.

    Barbara Mack’s husband, Bob, blamed the members who “intimidated the pastor and created a situation that had him in a bind,” and said they “have some misconceptions” about their religion.

    “We hope we can straighten them out, you know, get them to understand what Christianity is all about,” he said.

    But Charles Wilson told CNN that the time to “step up and be Christ-like” would have been before he and his wife were forced to move their wedding.

    “If it was such a minority of people, why didn’t the majority stand up and say, ‘in God’s house we don’t do this?'” he asked.

    Read more:

  5. For SOME reason, the lyric “Hey, hey, we’re the Monkies…” keeps
    Flashing Through my brain…now just WHY might that be????

  6. Darrin, he didn’t refuse to officiate at their marriage service. He only required that it occur in a different venue. The state does not interfere with bigoted religious practices, anyway. Separation of church and state. A 501 3 (c) religion can refuse to hire a leader for reasons such as gender, race, sexual orientation.

    I bet Pastor Weatherford is really regretting the decision he made. I hope he comes out with some kind of after-thought reflection. He’s badly tainted, but he could still show some fight and start the process of redemption.

  7. BarkinDog, That kind of behavior was abhorrent and still is. There are better ways of dealing with their behavior than getting in the trash with them.

  8. It would be fitting to burn down the church. Or maybe burn a cross in front of the church on Sunday night.

  9. At first I thought this was a throwback article, remember the bad old days. then I had to look at the picture, thght well abhorrent but maybe an interracial couple. No excuse for the racism, fear, hatred, bigotry for that either but “just” because they are African-American? In this day and age?
    Wonder what Jim and the other guy (harold?) over at the Chick fil a thread would make of it, I am sure they can find biblical apologia.

  10. “Tiina Kangas-Bryan
    1, July 29, 2012 at 5:22 am

    Maybe I’m naive but I really am puzzled again that this goes on in modern USA that voted Obama for president. Come on!”

    Don’t feel bad, to me it seems as if a lot of people are just beginning to realize that the President was black.

  11. Darren Smith, the problem with your correct analysis (denying them their constitutional rights under “color of state law” might be a stretch but also might be worth a try) is that as a practical matter, it is almost certainly sure to fail. A federal judge will kick it out of court, saying that there were no damages because the minister managed to get the couple married elsewhere, and blah blah blah (the courts are really not about making sure people’s rights are protected, and neither is anybody else). Probably no pro bono lawyer would get into it; probably that couple hasn’t got enough money to try to get a paid lawyer into it. It’s an example of why the law doesn’t mean very much anyway.

    BUT an attack on the tax-exempt status of the church itself might be worth a try and might be able to be taken care of by someone OUTSIDE the church and outside Mississippi, because ANYBODY can make an anonymous call to the IRS to report tax fraud. If the church is not a real religious house of worship but is, instead, a “corrupt organization” or something, and maybe they’re engaging in something like BINGO or money-making activities, they may be losing their right to have a 501(c)(3) exemption from taxes.

    Just sayin…

  12. I hope the fact that this piece of news hit the headlines around the world helps open the eyes of some people in Mississippi. I went to a school there for a few months in 1981, and was puzzled to see all the segregation that was still going on. Maybe I’m naive but I really am puzzled again that this goes on in modern USA that voted Obama for president. Come on!

  13. On a more subjective note, I’ll would venture to say the collection basket still got handed to this couple with an expectation of payment.

  14. I might suggest another perspective on this. As reprehensive as it is to me to deny this couple the right to marry in the church, the church might have the ability to exclude their marriage from their grounds. But, consider this. The states I am familiar with generally permit or otherwise empower typically judges and clergy to act as agents to officiate the marriage, so in essence the clergy is acting as an agent of the state in that it is by acting in their official capacity, the clergy person authorizes the marriage by signing the marriage certificate, (without which the marriage would not be certified). If there is such an agency then perhaps the minister would be violating the rights of this couple by refusing to marry them on grounds of race.

    What do you all think?

  15. Black Couple is denied marriage at a predominately white church? Can this be actually possible today? I guess it is… I also think the church they are attending are Satanist racists. Yes, satanists, because only very evil people would deny marrying a couple just because of their race. Beware when the devil attacks our church congregations he enjoys it very much. I am so sad church members let themselves be controlled by the devil.

    Dr. Oto Cantu

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