I grew up in Alabama and left years ago....but I can tell this oddball story.
My dad and mom left the local church about twenty years ago...small operation of 140 members...mostly because of Deacon versus Deacon decisions that were stupid and making the church into a soap opera.
So years passed. Around early 2004...the church hires up a new minister, with a special contract (they’d never done something like this). Basically, if they fired the guy in less than two years....they had to cough up one-year of pay as the severance package. Well...things run ok for six months, then the election period comes up, and the minister talks up John Kerry, which upsets the local folks greatly (go figure). The Deacons have a meeting and fire the guy. He lawyers-up and they find themselves having to borrow roughly $24k from the bank to pay this guy off.
The Deacons meet a month or two after the loan....terribly upset over the financial stability of the church, and they talk up with the new minister of recruiting new folks into the church...but with the financial incentive that they’d be “junior-members” unless they paid up $500 to be “regular members”. It was never clear how this would relate....either in parking, seating, or whatever.
So a couple of weeks pass, and these young ladies show up at my dad’s house....talking to my mom (age has harmed her mental capacity by this point), and wanting her to convince my dad that they needed to rejoin the church....and be “regular members” by paying the $500.
My dad steps into the house...listens to three minutes of this conversation....and puts the young ladies into the traveling encyclopedia salesman category. They need to leave...and he says this real friendly-like. Well...they just don’t get it....so he moves this up a notch....saying that their welcome was finished up. In Bama....that ought to be a clear understanding but these gals weren’t going to be happy over this. The next day....the minister comes over and does his chat....which my dad keeps him on the drive-way and says just plain no.
Religion has been turned into some kinda mess....that you’d put into a reality TV show or soap opera. Deacons are mostly guys who drink heavily, gamble, or run around with lusty gals who don’t attend church much.
Religion and faith are two separate things. I am not religious, I am an apprentice of Jesus and I believe in him. Jesus himself spoke against religion (saducees, and pharisees), and the dangers of repetitious prayer etc.
I think there is two sides to this story, no Christian I know would discriminate against someone based on skin colour.
This started just after The Ascension of Jesus.