Southern Baptist groups are asking churchgoers of First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, Miss., to reject racism, saying that the church’s decision not to marry Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson because of their race is wrong.
While Baptists share common beliefs, individual churches do not have necessarily have consistent practices amongst each other. The leaders of the Mississippi Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention have asked the First Baptist Church to reconsider their practices, the Associated Press reports.
The couple was asked by the Rev. Stan Weatherford, the church’s pastor, to move their wedding to another venue after a small group of churchgoers expressed their dismay that the couple, who is black, was getting married there.
Weatherford performed the ceremony at a nearby church, CNN reports.
Other members of the congregation have expressed their own outrage, saying that the small, unnamed group didn’t represent the majority of the church, according to WLBT.com.
In June, the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S., elected their first black president, a historic event for the group, which had predominantly been white.