Lord, I just talked about the foolishness within churches the other day and now this. A church in Eastern Kentucky are no fans of interracial marriage:
The issue came up at the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church, said Dean Harville, a longtime member who serves as church secretary and clerk. Attendance is usually around 40 people for a Sunday service at the church in the Johns Creek area, Harville said.
Harville said his daughter Stella Harville, who is pursuing a master's degree in optical engineering at a school in Indiana, brought her fiancé, Ticha Chikuni, to church in June and played the piano as he sang.
The couple performed I Surrender All, said Stella Harville, who is 24. Chikuni, 29, who works at Georgetown College, is black. He is a native of Zimbabwe.This is too much... I hope they realize how un-God like this is.
Stella Harville grew up in the church and was baptized there, but she is not a member, Dean Harville said. Dean Harville said Melvin Thompson, who had been pastor for many years, told him in August that his daughter and her fiancé couldn't sing at the church again. Thompson stepped down as pastor in August, citing health issues, but he refused Harville's requests to drop the issue, Harville said.
The new pastor, Stacy Stepp, said the couple could sing at the church if they wanted, Harville said.
In early November, Thompson proposed 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, according to a copy of the recommendation supplied by the Harvilles.
The proposal also said "parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services" or other church functions, with the exception of funerals.The 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," the copy supplied to the Herald-Leader read.