Mississippi City Stands Behind Black Couple
Charles, Te'Andrea Wilson were barred from church wedding
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 31, 2012 2:06 PM CDT
Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson speak to reporters following prayer rally in support of racial reconciliation Monday, July 30, 2012 in Crystal Springs, Miss.   (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
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(Newser) – News that a black couple was not allowed to marry in one of its churches has brought the Mississippi city of Crystal Springs together. Community members, officials, and church leaders—including the pastor who married Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson—gathered in a park yesterday to pray, and to make a point: The small group of church members that opposed the Wilsons' wedding does not define the entire community. Said the mayor, "I hope that the eyes that have been focused on our unfortunate circumstances that we've been having will be as focused on our people and our unity that we have here today."

Rev. Stan Weatherford, who married the Wilsons at a nearby church after some members of his own church protested, joined other members of his church in a downtown prayer walk. One of the church members urged the Wilsons to return and give the congregation—a majority of which was unaware of the controversy until after it happened—a second chance, the Clarion-Ledger reports. But, though Charles Wilson says he's forgiven those who barred his wedding, he's hesitant. "No child is born to hate. You have to be taught to hate," he says. "Are the same people that put us out of church still there? How have they changed?"