Skip to content

Interracial Couples banned from Church Membership. Does the church have the right to do this?

December 1, 2011

KKK in the pulpit?

When I first heard the story that a Kentucky church banned interracial couples from becoming members or participating in any church activities, except funerals, I must admit I shook my head saying, “I told people we don’t live in a post-racial society…” Not yet, at least. We still see race and carry stereotypes. However, at the end of the day, does this church have a right to do this? I know this is a spiritual sanctuary but it is also a non-profit in the eyes of government and I am not sure if the government can step in and say anything. But nonetheless, the pastor suggested this and the idea passed with a 9-6 vote. Okay, so read the story below by the Huffington Post and tell me what you think. This is surely a crazy story!

Interracial Couple Banned From Kentucky Church (by: The Huffington Post)

Interracial Couples

First Posted: 11/30/11 06:08 PM ET Updated: 11/30/11 06:20 PM ET

In a move to “promote greater unity” among its body and the Pike County community it serves, a small Kentucky church voted to ban interracial couples from membership and from participating in certain worship activities, reports.

Though reminiscent of some Jim Crow-era mandate, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old  Stella Harville, daughter of the church’s secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.

According to Harville’s father, Dean Harville, Stella brought Chikuni to the church in June where they performed a song for the congregation.

Following the visit, pastor Melvin Thompson told Harville that his daughter and her fiance could not sing at the church again. Thompson later proposed that 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.

His proposal, which was accepted by a 9-6 vote last week, also suggested that married interracial couples be prohibited from becoming members and used in worship activities, except for funerals.

“It’s not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form,” said Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County Ministerial Association, according to

While Pike County and the surrounding community come to grips with the church’s decision, researchers at Ohio State University and Cornell University say black-white marriages in the United States are soaring, increasing threefold, from 3 percent in 1980 to 10.7 percent in 2008.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Zena permalink
    December 1, 2011 1:25 pm

    Obviously as a non-profit the church as an entity has the legal right to impose such regulations. The issue is not a legal one, but a moral and ethical one. This is just another instance of where churches are failing in the community. The bible speaks of false prophets so I am not surprised. It makes one wonder what else is being taught in that church that is also not biblical. We always have to remember that it is our responsibility to remain diligent in all we do to ensure we are under the right teaching. As long as the church is attended, managed and governed by humans it will be imperfect. That is where repentance and forgiveness come into to play. We all fall short at some point, which is why we must hold those in ALL leadership positions accountable. People make bad decisions, but they can be corrected if the desire is there.

  2. Ms. Brooklyn permalink
    December 1, 2011 2:02 pm

    This is ridulclous and obsorb! As a Christian, it breaks my heart to see that such a church exist with such hatred! Its a beautiful thing when love is found and expressed outside the boundaries of race and cultures. God said, what he has joined to together, let no man separate. The church should be a representation of what the Word says and unfortunately, this is no the case at this place for I will not dare call it a church! I pray for the heart of this pastor and those that have favored this unbiblical belief because this is not how we love our neighbors as our selves! We shall be known by our love for others and I have compassion on such heart.

  3. December 1, 2011 4:14 pm

    This is organized relgion, which should not be confused with true spritual conversion in the name of Jesus Christ. Having said that as a organized body of people with the ability to construct by laws as determined by them, this can and apparently does happen; as to whether or not it should is to this end.

    You cannot legislate the heart of man, making people tolerate something ( interracial marriage) is not going to change who they are or what they believe. Fighting for laws that protect our rights to live is one thing making a group of people accept us is another! Besides whom in their right mind would want to belong to a group of hatemongers!

    As for the non profit status if their way of thinking ( church folk) means that much to them they should pay pentalities for violating the law.

  4. December 2, 2011 12:09 am

    Interesting, first and foremost We The People are the church, and that goes for All Churches. In my opinion, these are a bunch of people sitting in the house of the Lord, known as hypocrites. When these type of people are sitting in the house of the Lord and have this type of vote, which is nonsense. The best and the only advice I give to the people that call themselves, a child of GOD. Get the hell out fast and save your Soul…Have you checked out some of our churches lately in the news?…The only rights they have, is to get it right!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s