November 30, 2011

KY Church Bans Gay Marriage but they also decided to go back to the 60’s and now bans Interracial Marriages

 Posted by: Bridgette P. LaVictoire

Gulnare Freewill Baptist church has decided to take a stand against an insidious form of marriage…interracial marriage that is. The Pike County, Kentucky church has voted not to accept interracial couples as members or to allow them to take part in worship activities.
This came up when the daughter of Dean Harville, a longtime member of the church who serves as its secretary and clerk, brought her fiance to the church this past June. Stella Harville’s fiance is Ticha Chikuni, who is from Zimbabwe. Stella Harville is getting her master’s degree in optical engineering at a school in Indiana and Chikuni works at Georgetown College. Neither of them are members of the church, though Harville was baptised there.
Randy Johnson, the president of the Pike County Ministerial Association said of the vote that “It’s not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form.” he is not the only one who is pushing back against this vote.
After the two sang at the church, which has about forty people attending it, Dean Harville was informed by pastor Melvin Thompson that the couple would not be allowed to sing at the church again. Thompson stepped down as pastor in August over health issues, but did not back down from the issue. The new pastor, Stacy Stepp, said that the couple could sing at the church if they so wanted to; however, Thompson pushed the issue and proposed that the church go on record as saying that they would not condone interracial marriage.
Thompson’s proposal said that all people were welcome to attend public worship services, but that the church was against interracial marriage and that “parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services.” Interracial couples were also banned from various events including funerals. The recommendation also stated that it 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 at a meeting decided to put the matter before the whole church, and nine people voted for it and six against. There were a lot of abstentions.
Harville stated that he felt that it was motivated by racism, and that “It sure ain’t Christian. It ain’t nothing but the old devil working.” However, Thompson, who owns a hardware store, has told reporters that the proposal was taken out of context. Still, Stella Harville said that the whole thing has been hurtful and that “They’re the people who are supposed to comfort me in times like these.”
Johnson, with the local ministerial association, said the reactions have included heartbreak and disbelief.
“Most of us thought that we’d moved well beyond that,” he said.
Harville said he plans to ask the conference of churches to which Gulnare Freewill Baptist belongs to overturn the vote.
Even if that happens, however, “I don’t think I’ll be able to go back there,” his daughter said.
Ah, it is hard to forget that many of those opposed to interracial marriages once used Bible verses like “And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son” to oppose marriage equality for the people.

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