Kentucky Church: No Interracial Couples Welcome
What else would you expect from a church in the state that elected Rand Paul?
The Bible commands us to love our neighbors, but members of a Kentucky evangelical church have set strict limits on that love: The Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church voted Sunday to bar interracial couples from becoming members or participating in worship services.
Not everyone at the church agrees, and it may not be the last word. Stacy Stepp, pastor of the small church in Gulnare, Ky., is appealing the new policy at a regional conference of church leaders Saturday in Pikeville, Ky. “I want them to investigate the matter and resolve it,” Pastor Stepp told Hatewatch, adding that nothing in the Bible says that interracial marriage is bad.
After noting that the church “does not condone interracial marriage,” and that spouses of another race won’t be allowed to join or take part in services, the policy adds, “All are welcome to our public worship services.” And in case you’re wondering if this means that people who marry outside their race are somehow not up to snuff, there is one more sentence: “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.”
Several members said the move was prompted by the engagement of Stella Harville, whose family has belonged to the church for decades, to Ticha Edza, 29, a Zimbabwe native and student life administrator at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky. Harville, a 24-year-old graduate student, said she brought Edza to the church several times, and they always were treated politely. Edza even sang a spiritual song to the congregation more than a year ago, with Harville accompanying him on piano, she says.