Pastor in Choctaw County Allegedly Fired for Inviting Black People to Church

Pastor in Choctaw County Allegedly Fired for Inviting Black People to Church

A local pastor in Butler, Choctaw County, claims that he was fired from his position at Mt. Sterling Baptist Church after inviting black people to join the congregation.

Pastor Jonathan Greer had been with Mt. Sterling for a year and a half before a unanimous vote ousted him from the church. Greer told local news station WTOK-TV that the decision came closely after a deacon advised him not to allow black children into the church’s Vacation Bible School program.

“There was pushback about the types of children we were bringing in, and I was asked to not invite black children to VBS,” Greer said.

Deacon Freddie Moore denied the accusations, saying that Greer failed in his duties to visit members of the congregation and the dismissal was not racially charged.

According to AL.com, the members of Mt. Sterling Baptist Church are all white, despite being situated in a predominantly black neighborhood. Greer said the Vacation Bible School incident was only the most recent in a string of consultations with two local Deacons who asked him not to invite black people into the church.

“Someone can wander in off the street and they won’t stop them, but they specifically asked me, explicitly, not to invite black people. I tried to communicate with them that that’s not consistent with Christianity,” Greer said. The irony is particularly potent with the Vacation Bible School situation; while 53% of workers report feeling refreshed after a vacation, this incident has only fueled tensions within the community.

“I wanted the church to know that this is not consistent with the gospel,” Greer said. “This is not consistent with God’s word that we honor and give dignity to all people. That’s what the Bible teaches us, and all people are worthy and in need of the gospel, and racism denies that to a certain amount of people.”