Church bans interracial dating

According to Harville's father, Dean Harville, Stella brought Chikuni to the church in June where they performed a song for the congregation.

Following the visit, former pastor Melvin Thompson told Harville that his daughter and her fiance could not sing at the church again.

“That’s what this is being portrayed as, but it is not.” Church secretary Dean Harville disagrees: He says the resolution came after his daughter visited the church this summer with her boyfriend from Africa. The vote by members last Sunday was 9-6, Harville said.

Stella Harville and Ticha Chikuni — now her fiancé — visited the church in June and Chikuni sang a song for the congregation. Dean Harville, the church’s secretary, said he was counting the church offering after a service in early August when he was approached by Thompson, who told him Harville’s daughter and her boyfriend were no longer allowed to sing at the church. It was taken after the service, which about 35 to 40 people attended.

Thompson later proposed that the church go on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage.

His proposal, which was accepted by a 9-6 vote last week, also suggested that married interracial couples be prohibited from becoming members and used in worship activities, except for funerals.

However, Thompson recently stepped down and the church's new pastor, Stacy Stepp, said the couple was once again welcome to sing. WYMT has reported." data-reactid="17" That the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church does not condone interracial marriage.

Stepp's decision prompted Thompson to put forth a recommendation saying that while all members are welcome at the church, it does not "condone" interracial marriage, and that any interracial couples would not be received as members or allowed to participate in worship services. Parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services and other church functions, with the exception being funerals. This recommendation is not intended to judge the salvation of anyone, but is intended to promote greater unity among the church body and the community we serve.

Members of the church held a vote on Thompson's proposed language, with nine voting in favor and six voting against.

"They're the people who are supposed to comfort me in times like these," Stella Harville said.

And Stella's father was much more forceful in his denunciation of the interracial ban. "It ain't nothing but the old devil working."Other popular Yahoo!

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