Church Rule-No Racial Mixing


If you want to see a conversation get really awkward, strike up a conversation amongst a group of people of different races and start your conversation with the words “Blacks and Whites shouldn’t worship together.”

After the immediate shock that follows your statement, you will then hear the many explanations from the various people, some explaining why there should be no racism in religion and how the concept of worship and fellowship alone defines unity and not separation.

After a few faces have turned beet red, a few throats have been cleared and a few people may have excused themselves from the group, you will then hear a few people speak up on what they believe to be the sound, logical belief that there is no place for interracial mixing within the church setting. These thoughts will be backed up with  comments that generally start off with the statement that the person is in no way racist…after all….they have black/white friends and they make small talk with people of other races at work all of the time, BUT going to church together just isn’t acceptable because that’s just the way it has always been and frankly the way it should remain.

This is possibly what took place at Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church in Pike County, Kentucky back when they voted to not allow an interracial couple to attend church services at Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church. The church voted in late November that interracial couples would not be allowed to join the church or participate in church services.

This rule was set into place after the daughter of the church’s secretary returned home for the summer and brought along with her, her boyfriend. The problem with this visit was that the young lady was white and her boyfriend was from Africa. The church’s pastor along with some of the members then decided to have a meeting in which members would vote on whether or not interracial couples would be allowed to be members at  Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church. After the votes were cast and counted, the decision was made that interracial couples  would not be allowed to become members, sing in the choir or participate in any church services. This rule basically meant that interracial couples were not welcome at  Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church.

Melvin Thompson, the pastor who initiated the meeting and vote stated “I am not racist. I will tell you that. “I am not prejudiced against any race of people, have never in my lifetime spoke evil about a race.”

Maybe Melvin Thompson feels that discriminating against interracial relationships is not racist but instead a church preference or maybe somehow he has validated his belief that not allowing a person to worship with you because they are involved in an interracial relationship has some kind of biblical foundation.

Whatever the reasoning, the act of not allowing a person to attend church, participate in church services or become a member because of race is as racist as it gets. To proclaim to be a follower of Christ, yet shun a person because of their race is in no way biblical and is as far from Christ-like as you can get.

The vote to ban interracial couples from church privileges at Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church has since been overturned, but the fact that such foolishness was even brought up for vote in the first places speaks volumes on the thoughts of some people in this rural Kentucky town.

But let’s be honest, how many racially mixed churches do you know of? Of course we have the big mega churches that attract members of different races and social classes, but overall, just how many people of different races are okay with worshipping together? At the church you attend, when you look around don’t most of the faces sitting in the pews resemble yours? Aren’t they what you consider your sisters, brothers, prayer partners…don’t they look like you? What would happen if a few new members joined one Sunday and they were of another race? Sure you may not make a big deal of it, but if your church is predominately filled with one race, you will take a second look at these new members and you will ask yourself “Where did he/she come from?” “I wonder why they chose this church?” You may not be bothered by their race, but you may give it a second thought, when on the other hand if it were someone of your race that joined you would, or should just rejoice that another soul has been saved.

It is indeed horrible that situations like this still arise at this day in age and it is shameful that people who proclaim to believers and followers of the same God are such hypocrites that they can accept the portion of their religion that stresses love for one another yet overlook the very day-to-day practices of this love.

It may be surprising to some that religion, worship and fellowship are still very much divided by racial lines, but when was it ever any different? When exactly did this imaginary church integration take place?

.…..I must have missed it….

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10 thoughts on “Church Rule-No Racial Mixing”

  1. No comment by me is needed on the proceedings at Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church, yet you make an odd jump after that.

    What would happen if a few new members joined one Sunday and they were of another race? Sure you may not make a big deal of it, but if your church is predominately filled with one race, you will take a second look at these new members and you will ask yourself “Where did he/she come from?” “I wonder why they chose this church?” You may not be bothered by their race, but you may give it a second thought…

    Yes, I would wonder as would anybody. The culture of the Blacks and the culture of the Whites are vastly different and this is very much true when it comes to how they worship.

    I’ve, in the course of studying, attended services at many, many different churches both Black and White and have found vast differences in the manner – tenor, if you will – of their services.

    It seems logical to me that individuals raised in either culture would choose to, by and large, stick to their own ways.

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  2. One more reason why i chose not to live in the US,one more reason why i choose not to go to church and i have lots of reasons for both.

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  3. Mixed churches aren’t common, but they definitely aren’t rare. I go to a mixed church right now. I feel more comfortable in churches that are diverse.

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  4. Dee,

    That may depend a lot on how integrated the neighborhood is and for how long it’s been that way.

    My experience has been that the churches are fairly “segregated” but this has more to do with long term separation of the races and churches having grown apart in manners of worship.

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  5. I go to a Catholic church that has been around for decades. Idk if the fact that it’s Catholic that has anything to do with it. But I have seen Catholic churches with only whites, only Indians, etc. And it’s in a pretty diverse area, as most places in America are. But even in this diverse area, there are also still segregated churches.

    The only segregated churches I’ve been to have been all-white and all-black, and the problem with all-white is that people treat you different, noticing that you’re part of the only black family there. It’s like people are being extra nice to you, and it’s just weird.

    And all-black churches.. well I’ve never been to an all-black Catholic church, but the Baptist church I went to just wasn’t for me. Too exaggerated.. the service took forever, and etc. That was a church with pretty much only African-Americans. And at another similar church (I forget the denomination, though), the pastor kept talking about reparations and fixing black youth or w/e, which was just ridiculous.

    AND at an African church (presbyterian) it just didn’t have all the services I looked for in a church, like sunday school, among other programs, that are present in more developed churches. As the African church was new, it requested donations multiple times, too, which turned off my parents, haha. We had once gone to another presbyterian church, which was mixed, with a very small congregation, and they never made a big deal about collections.

    So basically we’ve had some trouble finding a good one! I don’t get why segregated churches are so common.. do a lot of people feel like they can’t get along, or have anything in common, with people of different races? there are many ‘nice’ people that go to segregated churches.. do they see it as a retreat from other races? while at the same time claiming not to be racist or anything? i dont understand this

    Sorry I just wrote like an essay here, too

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  6. After having religion (and the associated hypocrisy) crammed down my throat for as long as I can remember, I eschewed it all at the age of 14. I am agnostic, and that’s the end of it…

    “It’s all the same – religion is all just the same, boring crap!”
    William Murderface: Metalocalypse

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  7. @sepultura13: What makes religion all the same? I don’t understand what you mean. Also, what made your previous religion so hypocritical? And religions are pretty interesting..

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  8. I am thinking what would happen if housing theift was running rampet in Memphis and people are too embrassed to talk about it????

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  9. Devil food is no good bm. White ass got mj, kobe, tiger woods, oj and others in trouble.We know that they wana get with us bm, who would’nt? Keep blk and strong, and you’ll never go wrong. Strong families equal strong people, dont forget that.

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