Now this is just special. The Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church located in Pike County, Kentucky, took it upon themselves to literally vote against the presence of interracial couples during their Sunday service. This decision was sparked when a couple of love birds who were *gasp* not of the same race decided to sing a duet for the church’s members. The nerve.
The small congregation, which usually hosts about 40 members each Sunday, held the vote after longtime member Stella Harville, brought her fiancé Ticha Chikuni to church with her in June. The couple performed a song together at the church in which Chikuni sang “I Surrender All,” while Harville played the piano.
Chikuni, 29, who works at Georgetown College, is black–and Harville, who was baptized at the church but is not an active member, is white. Dean Harville, Stella’s father, said he was told by the church’s former pastor Melvin Thompson that his daughter and her fiancé were not allowed to sing at the church again. However, Thompson recently stepped down and the church’s new pastor, Stacy Stepp, said the couple was once again welcome to sing.
Stepp’s decision prompted Thompson to put forth a recommendation saying that while all members are welcome at the church, it does not “condone” interracial marriage, and that any interracial couples would not be received as members or allowed to participate in worship services. The only exception? Funerals.
Gotta sort of love Harville’s daddy Dean’s fury over the ban: “It sure ain’t Christian…It ain’t nothing but the old devil working.”
Amen to that.