Church Apologizes for Refusing to Marry Black Couple

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A Mississippi church belonging to the Southern Baptist Convention has issued an apology for refusing to host a black couple's wedding in its sanctuary.

The First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs posted a statement on its website Sunday saying Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson "should never have been asked to relocate their wedding."

"This wrong decision resulted in hurt and sadness for everyone. Both the pastor and those involved in the wedding location being changed have expressed their regrets and sorrow for their actions," the church said.

The Wilsons, who moved their wedding to another location at the last minute, said they knew nothing of the apology until a reporter called for their response.

Mrs. Wilson said she will not accept the statement as an apology, and it's "insulting" that the church believes it's enough.

"The pastor has not spoken to us since a couple days after the incident," Charles Wilson added. "We have not heard from the pastor or any church official since the incident."

Richard Land, who leads the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said the apology was "responsible" and "necessary."

"It certainly sounds to me as if God has been working on the hearts of the church members of Crystal Springs," he said.

It's unclear if Land knew whether the church had reached out to the Wilsons directly.

Church leaders said in the statement they are "seeking forgiveness and reconciliation" with God, the Wilsons, and others affected by the wrongdoing.

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