After setting a date and printing invitations for their July 21 wedding at the predominately white First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson from nearby Jackson had what was probably a pretty awkward conversation with Pastor Stan Weatherford, who told the couple that some members of the congregation objected to their getting married in the church. In an effort to ensure that the Wilsons' wedding day wasn't ruined by a few racist ruiners, Weatherford performed the ceremony at another church.
"I didn't want to have a controversy within the church," Weatherford told local WLBT, "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." According to the Clarion-Ledger, the Wilsons would have been the first black couple to be married in the First Baptist Church's 150-year history, which would have been a really cool thing to boast about to grandkids, but who needs that kind of controversy on an already super-stressful day?
Churchgoer Casey Kitchens was pretty embarrassed by the fact that some members of the congregation don't realize that it's now 2012 and this whole segregation thing is getting to be, quite frankly, a little tacky. "This is a small, small group of people who made a terrible decision," said Kitchens. "I'm just ashamed right now that my church would do that. I can't fathom why. How unfair. How unjust. It's just wrong."
For his part, Charles Wilson thinks someone ought to have stood up to the few recalcitrant bigots at the First Baptist Church, and though he understands that Weatherford was caught in a tough situation, he thinks that the pastor missed a good opportunity to, you know, do whatever it is pastors do when people aren't behaving the way their religion explicitly tells them to behave.