By Kalyn Womack, The Root
A woman went to social media alleging a member of First Baptist Church Forrest City in Arkansas had turned her and her family away because they were Black. According to the woman, a church member referred to her family as “coloreds.”
If this is true, then there are more places in the country than we realize that are still stuck in the 1950s.
Donna Mac went to Facebook to detail the alleged encounter. Per her account, one member stopped her and her family at the steps to ask, “Well what you want to come in for?” Mac answered that she was there for church and the member told her to come back when service starts at 11 a.m.
Meanwhile, Mac said there were people already allowed inside.
More from Donna Mac’s post:
After speaking with the 2nd member (older white lady) I stated, “Is everyone not welcome here?” She stated, “We’ve had COLOREDS here before.” I asked, “What do you mean Coloreds? Do you mean Black people?” Her response, “No COLOREDS! When I was growing up we always called them COLOREDS!” We just looked at her and left!
My feelings are so hurt!
Coloreds?! You wouldn’t have to worry about me stepping in there either. For context, the city was named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Klu Klux Klan leader and Confederate general. The chance of a church having racist members is not impossible.
The Root reached out to the church pastor, Steve Walter. In a television interview, Walter responded to the incident, saying he believed it was all a miscommunication. He told ABC affiliate WREG the situation isn’t a representation of who the church congregation is.
“I was deeply grieved that we’re perceived or that what that young woman experienced because that is what we sought to fight against, what she experienced,” Walter said. “On the behalf of the church, she needs to experience a sense of sorrow on our part. She needs to be told how sorry we are collectively.”
Walter also acknowledged the racial divide in the community and says this was a teachable moment for the congregation. Per WREG, St. Francis County NAACP plans to meet with the church officials as well.