This morning, I was alerted to a story that seemed to belong to another era – but sadly it happened yesterday. A young pastor in a small Southern Baptist church in small town Alabama tries to lead his church to do outreach and invite children from the community to their upcoming VBS. The church is all white and the surrounding community is mostly black. Opposition arises from church members and they tell him that they do not want to reach out to black people and invite them to church. He persists and says the gospel of Jesus Christ demands it. They tell him that if he keeps going with this, then he will be removed. He says that he will take his appeal to the church and on the next Sunday, he preaches boldly against racism and calls the church to repentance. A vote is scheduled on the future of the pastor and he is voted to be removed immediately by a unanimous vote last night. As of today, he has no job.
I spoke with this pastor, Jonathan Greer, today for about a half hour. I asked him if there was anything else that happened. Did they give another reason? Even a public reason? He said no. They told him nothing. He said that they didn’t want black people to come to their church. A variety of reasons were listed, but they were all related to negative things happening if black people started coming. The church is in Alabama. It is a small church numbers-wise – around 30 people or so.
Best thing they can do is affiliate themselves with the Westboro NOT Baptist NOT Church. They’re just the sort of hatemongers Westboro loves. Or better yet, close the doors. There’s nothing of Christ in that Church.