(Photo: AP Photo/The Clarion-Ledger, Barbara Gauntt)
After a barrage of negative press and condemnation rained down upon the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs in Mississippi over their refusal to allow a Black couple to wed at their predominately white sanctuary, the church issued a statement Monday apologizing for the misstep.
“We, the church, realize that the Hendersons and Wilsons should never have been asked to relocate their wedding … Both the pastor and those involved in the wedding location being changed have expressed their regrets and sorrow for their actions,” the statement reads. “We are seeking forgiveness and reconciliation with our Lord Jesus Christ, Te'Andrea and Charles, family and friends of the Hendersons and Wilsons, our church family, and our community for the actions and attitudes that have recently occurred.”
However, in the wake of the public apology, the ousted couple say they have yet to receive a personal message from the church.
“You put a thing in the media and say you’ve apologized?” Groom Charles Wilson asked according to the Associated Press. “That is an insult.”
Wilson and his then-fiancée Te’Andrea Henderson had to scramble and find a new wedding venue two days before their July wedding when the church’s members objected to the wedding after the couple’s rehearsal. The couple claims that the church’s pastor, Rev. Stan Weatherford, told them his position might be in jeopardy if he allowed the wedding to take place in the church.
"We commit to pray for one another, love one another, and work to enable our church to be everything Christ would have it to be and to reflect His love and grace in every way, in every service, and to everyone," says the church statement. "To God be the Glory!"
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