The Southern Baptist Convention has expelled a denomination in Georgia over charges of racism after receiving complaints church leaders would not allow African-American worshipers to enter the building when services were being conducted.
According to the Tennessean, the Raleigh White Baptist Church — located in Albany — has been booted over what was called “clear evidence of the church’s intentional discriminatory acts,” which included a forcing a black visitor’s daughter to use a convenience store bathroom down the road when her family showed up to use the shared building for another program.
The report states that the all-white denomination shares the building with New Seasons Church — led by Pastor Marcus Glass — for economic reasons due to declining membership dating back to 2015.
According to reports, the relationship between the two denominations has deteriorated recently, and came to a head on March 18 when the all-white church scheduled an event at the facility during New Seasons’ worship time. Black churchgoers, unaware of the scheduling change, were denied entry at the door and told to wait in their vehicles.
“It was because of the color of their skin that they were turned away at the door,” Hans Wunch, director of missions for the Mallary Baptist Association explained. “That was kind of the final straw.”
In a statement, the association said they expelled Raleigh White because of, “… the church’s un-Christian attitudes and acts toward another associational church. These attitudes and acts were racially-motivated. Thus they do not reflect the values and mission of the Mallary Baptist Association.”
The Southern Baptist Convention followed suit on Monday on the recommendation of its officers and severed the evangelical denomination’s relationship with the church.
According to the report, church leaders and members of Raleigh White Baptist can no longer participate in the convention until it “repents and takes steps to restore fellowship.”
You can read the whole report here.