Wait one second…. Yep! It’s still 2012. Just checking.
They had booked their wedding far in advance. The invitations had been sent, the programs printed. But one day before Charles and Te’Andrea Wilson were to be married at the Mississippi church they frequented, they said a pastor told them they would have to find another venue — because they were black.
There has never been a black wedding at the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Miss., since its founding in 1883. According to Pastor Stan Weatherford, some church members objected so strongly to breaking that precedent, they threatened to oust him from his pastorship.
Rather than risk his job, Weatherford, who is white, said he decided to marry the pair at a black church down the road.
“My 9-year-old was going to the church with us. How would you say to your 9-year-old daughter, ‘We cannot get married here because, guess what sweetie, we’re black,’” Charles Wilson told ABC’s affiliate WAPT-TV.
Outrage over the wedding’s forced relocation swept the Jackson suburb of about 5,000 into a media firestorm.
The vast majority of Crystal Springs residents, blacks and whites alike, were “blown away” by the church’s decision, said Theresa Norwood, 48, who was born in Crystal Springs and has lived there her entire life.
Norwood said she believes Weatherford should have married the Wilsons regardless of the risk to his job.