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Couple say Mississippi church blocked wedding because they are black

A black Mississippi couple say a predominantly white Baptist church where they were to wed turned them away because of race.

Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson told NBC station WLBT of Jackson that they got the news from the pastor, Dr. Stan Weatherford of the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs, the day before their long-planned nuptials.

"The church congregation had decided no black could be married at that church, and that if he went on to marry her, then they would vote him out the church," said Charles Wilson.

See the original story at WLBT of Jackson, Miss.

The Wilsons regularly attend First Baptist but are not members there.

Weatherford performed the wedding at a nearby church.

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Weatherford said he was taken by surprise by what he called a small minority against the black marriage at the church.

"This had never been done before here, so it was setting a new precedent, and there are those who reacted to that because of that," Weatherford said.

"I didn't want to have a controversy within the church, and I didn't want a controversy to affect the wedding of Charles and Te' Andrea. I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day," he said.

Charles Wilson said he doesn’t understand the ban.

“I blame those members who knew and call themselves Christians and didn't stand up," Wilson said.

Church officials say they welcome any race into their congregation and will decide on how to move forward should a similar situation occur again.

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Crystal Spring is a city of 5,000 about 25 miles southwest of Mississippi’s capital, Jackson.

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