Mon 21 Aug 00 18:31
Pastor bars interracial marriage


Pastor Bars Interracial Marriage

COLUMBUS, Ohio Jul 10 -- A southern Ohio pastor has refused to allow an interracial wedding in his church, forcing the couple to move the ceremony.

The marriage of Chastity Bumgardner and Henry Lawrence was scheduled for July 16 at the Pleasant Valley Community Church in Pike County, about 60 miles south of Columbus, by Bumgardner's brother, a newly ordained minister.

But the Rev. Donald Ellis confirmed to The Columbus Dispatch that he canceled the ceremony after learning that Lawrence is black. The pastor refused to say why.

"This is my church," Ellis said.

Bumgardner, 26, who grew up in Pike County but now lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said her brother has found a small church in nearby Beaver for the ceremony and the wedding will happen Saturday, as planned.

She said she was shocked at Ellis's decision.

"It's something I would expect in Alabama or Mississippi, but I never expected it to happen in Ohio," she told the Dispatch.

She added that her fiance, a 39-year-old Alabama native she met while both were in the Army, is "real hurt by it." Lawrence could not be reached to comment; a telephone listing for him could not immediately be found.

Pike County is about 98 percent white, according to the 1990 U.S. Census, which said there were 327 black county residents.

[SQ note: Wonder what God thinks of this guy taking over His Domicile.]

* Origin: Gerard Finneran Fan Club (1:393/9005.13)


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