Charles Wilson and Te’ Andrea Henderson planned to marry at the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs in Mississippi, but were denied their chance at their dream wedding when the church banned them from having their ceremony there. After local uproar, church officials offered an apology today — online.
The church’s statement, posted on its official website, read: “This wrong decision resulted in hurt and sadness for everyone. Both the pastor and those involved in the wedding location being changed have expressed their regrets and sorrow for their actions.”
However, Wilson says that no one from the church has officially reached out to him or his wife, and calls the statement and so called apology an “insult.”
Pastor Stan Weatherford, a family friend who’d been asked to officiate their ceremony, informed the couple that there were protests from certain church members asking that the first Black marriage not take place there. Weatherford told the Wilsons that his job was at stake if he married them there.
Even though the couple’s wedding was planned well in advance for July 20, the big day was rushed and relocated to a Black church nearby, where Weatherford did in fact marry Charles and Te’ Andrea.
Residents and community organizers of Crystal Springs organized a unity rally July 30 in an effort to help ease the local tension brewing over the banning.
According to CNN, a spokesperson from the church said that “the church had attempted to reach out to the couple and that calls were not returned.”
Wilson said on Sunday, “The pastor has not spoken to us since a couple days after the incident. We have not heard from the pastor or any church official since the incident.”
Many members feel that their church is being misrepresented and say they were completely unaware that the Wilsons were denied the opportunity to marry there.