Kentucky Church Bars Interracial Couples
They can attend services, but can't be members
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2011 9:28 AM CST
A church in Kentucky will not accept interracial married couples as members.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Yes, it is the 21st century … but apparently not in Pike County, Kentucky, where a small Baptist church has barred interracial couples from becoming members or participating in certain church activities. It all started back in June, when Stella Harville, who is white, brought fiancé Ticha Chikuni, who is black, to Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church, where they performed a song. Harville's father is a longtime church member and she was baptized there, but is not a member. After her appearance with Chikuni, the you-know-what hit the fan.

The longtime pastor barred Harville and Chikuni from performing again, and wouldn't drop the issue even after stepping down in August. This month, he proposed that the church officially state that it does not condone interracial marriage. Such couples would still be allowed to attend public worship services, but could not become members or participate in worship services or church functions. Last Sunday, nine members voted for the proposal and six against. Harville's father tells the Lexington Herald-Leader, "It sure ain't Christian. It ain't nothing but the old devil working."