Family plans to ask church to reconsider ban of interracial couples

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

A family in Pike County was planning to ask their church to reconsider a recent vote banning interracial couples.

Leaders at Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church have cancelled a scheduled meeting and plan to ask for help resolving this issue.

WYMT first told you Tuesday about Stella Harville bringing her fiancé, a native of Zimbabwe, to the church she grew up in and not feeling welcome.

Now the pastor says he plans to ask for help resolving this issue.

Wednesday night services were cancelled so everyone can have a break.

Stella Harville's mother has written a letter to members at the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church, asking them to not ban her daughter and fiancé from church functions.

Stella Harville attended the church her whole life until she moved away for college. Now when she visits home, she and her fiancé, Ticha Chikuni, are not allowed to be members or participate in worship services.

Chikuni is originally from Zimbabwe.

“Unfortunately, these convictions will remain in our society, but they crossed the line in revoking my fiancé and I's right to worship in a public place,” Harville said.

The church of about 40 members voted nine to six to not condone interracial marriage.

Harville family members are standing up to the church where Stella's father Dean Harville is a deacon.

Her calls this ban "the work of the devil."

The Harville's say if the church does not change its decision, then they will find a new church.

The Sandy Valley Conference will meet Saturday in closed session to discuss.

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