*A white pastor in Butler, Alabama says he was voted out of the church after at least two of the deacons told him not to invite black children to their Vacation Bible School, reports WTOK.
“There was pushback about where the types of children we were bringing in, and I was asked to not invite black children to VBS,” said Pastor Jonathan Greer, who has served for a year and a half at Mt. Sterling Baptist Church.
“This was a particular deacon that asked me, and ultimately, two deacons that had asked me not to invite black people,” Greer says.
Thirty-one people unanimously voted him out of the church, according to the report. But Freddie Moore, a deacon at Mt. Sterling who did not want to be on camera, told WTOK that race was not a factor in Greer’s termination. He claims Greer was fired because he would not visit members of the congregation; Moore says Greer only visited a few.
Moore says anyone, regardless of race, is welcome to the church at any time. Pastor Greer says he was told that as well when he first joined the church, but was ultimately informed multiple times during the course of this situation that black people were not allowed.
“What they really mean is that 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 says.
Greer says the deacons wanted him to resign from the church quietly. Due to the church bylaws, Greer chose not to. He says his sermon on Sunday was on racism.
“I wanted the church to know that this is not consistent with the gospel. 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,” Greer says.
Greer says he believes not everyone in the Mt. Sterling Baptist Church shares the same view as the deacons who talked with him.
Greer says he wants to make clear that he did not contact WTOK-TV for an interview. He says he decided to speak on the situation when he was asked.
Watch his interview with WTOK-TV below: