Kentucky church’s love haters vote to ban interracial couples

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.

Via Yahoo:

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.

Join the Conversation

  • nazza

    That is still unfortunately an issue for some. Progress here is measured by whether interracial marriage comes with open intolerance or open discomfort. My own family, sad to say, would likely have a problem should I be in a relationship with someone who is African-American.

    However, the odd part about it is that should I be in a relationship with anyone of any other ethnic/racial group, it likely wouldn’t be problematic at all. There’s old school racism in this story, which is one thing. Then there is the racism produced by the after-effects of Civil Rights and Affirmative Action. The distinction here is largely generational.

  • Kelly

    I am shocked after reading this article. I am from California, and I could not imagine people still thinking this way. In fact, I rarely find people that are solely one ethnicity. Almost everyone is a mix of something. I know the main reasoning behind the pastor having a problem with the interracial couple is because the man is African-American. I find it hard to believe that people are still discriminating people because of looks. People shouldn’t judge others on looks. Character matters more and this pastor clearly has horrible character if he discriminates others because of race. I am glad that the father said something and the man is no longer the pastor.

  • natasha

    I’m from Kentucky, and sadly, I think I was at this church once, for a funeral. It bothers me so much to think I was in this preacher’s company. I’ve been thinking about this and the whole women sit on the back of a public bus in New York story from a little while back. Some of the reaction I’ve seen to both of these incidents has been: this is 2011, not 1950. I have to say that those kind of reactions bother me. Yes, it’s disheartening and frustrating, and this kind of stuff was obviously more likely to happen in 1950s America, but we’ve never been a totally equal society. We have to stop buying into the idea that these beliefs are a thing of the past, or only the product of a few bad apples. This is an entire culture we live in. There are plenty of people that still hold these prejudiced beliefs, but most of them try to be more subtle about it.

  • Sam Lindsay-Levine

    The best comment I heard on this:

    “Well, in fairness, we biracial folks are pretty dangerous. You never know when one of us will suddenly become President. “

    • toongrrl

      Love it!!!!

  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    This story is sickening. My one consolation is knowing that were I to meet these people in this church, my very existence would probably really bug them.