A Mississippi couple got the shock of their lives when the pastor at the church they attended told them the wedding they planned could not be held there because they are black, ABC television reported.
Pastor Stan Weatherford told the network there had never been a wedding for blacks at the First Baptist Church in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, since it was opened in 1883.
He said some of the white congregation so virulently opposed the wedding of Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson, who are black, that they threatened to have him fired.
Weatherford, a pastor who is white, offered to wed the Wilsons down the road at a mostly black church, he told the network.
"My 9-year-old was going to the church with us. How would you say to your 9-year-old daughter, 'We cannot get married here because, guess what sweetie, we're black,'" Charles Wilson told ABC's affiliate WAPT-TV.
The would-be groom told WAPT that the couple intended to join the church as members after their wedding, which was planned for July 20. Until they got the bad news that forced them to move their ceremony to another church where it was held July 21.
Locals voiced shock at the pastor's move.
"That church was their home," said local resident Theresa Norwood, 48. "What would Jesus have done? He would have married them, without a doubt, because it's the right thing to do. We're all God's children," she said.