Attention First Baptist Church Crystal Springs, Mississippi

In church this morning at FBC Gulfport, I was shocked (but not surprised) to hear of your decision to deny a black couple’s marriage in your sanctuary. Was it due to their color? Is it somehow related to church politics? Or a power struggle to rid the church of some member or staff member? Whatever the real reason, the reason was ill-timed. …

Ill-timed because those responsible threw dear ol’ Mississippi right back into the hands of the media; back into the shark-infested waters of the those that smell blood and viciously attack. Your decision only intensifies the country’s negative image of a state that for all of my 60 years I’ve called home; a state that is light years away from it’s racist past – your decision only strengthening the tether to it.

Question? Now that the Southern Baptist Convention has voted as its worldwide leader, a charismatic, highly articulate African American, how does that sit with you? Will you leave the convention? If you can’t let a Black couple’s marriage take place in your sanctuary, how can you be led by a Black man?

We live in trying times, times we’ve not seen since the 1930s – world-wide financial collapse, wars and rumors of wars, and seemingly inept, world-wide leadership. Do we as Christians really have time to worry about skin color? Or church politics? Shouldn’t we be honoring one of the Good Master’s last commands? “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another as I have loved you. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” Does Christ’s command stop at the front door of some Baptist Churches in Mississippi because of skin color or life-style choices? To some at FBC Crystal Springs – some…NOT all – it appears so. Forgive them Lord. And forgive me, a sinner at best, struggling to get Home to thee.