Leaders of a Baptist association in Georgia expelled Raleigh White Baptist Church on Tuesday for allegedly racist actions against a black church.
The Mallary Baptist Association expelled Raleigh White of Albany, Ga., in response to that church’s dispute with New Seasons Church, with whom they shared a building, according Facts & Trends. New Seasons, a black church, alleged Raleigh White had discriminated against them for years. The allegation escalated when Raleigh White members prevented members of New Seasons from entering the building or using the bathrooms on March 18. The Georgia State Mission Board tried to intervene, but Raleigh White refused to listen, which led to their April 3 expulsion.
“The reason for this action involved the church’s un-Christian attitudes and acts toward another associational church,” a statement from the association read. “These attitudes and acts were racially motivated. Thus they do not reflect the values and mission of the Mallary Baptist Association.”
The Association brought the matter to a vote, based on the recommendation of the association’s administrative team, after the March 18 incident. Raleigh White held its annual homecoming service on that day but did so at the time New Seasons usually held their services. New Seasons’ members arrived for worship, but Raleigh White’s congregation denied them entry to the church and turned them away, according to Christian Index.
The daughter of a New Seasons member asked to use the restroom, but Raleigh White members refused and told her she could use the lavatory at the convenience store down the road. A New Seasons pastor went to the church to discuss funeral arrangements for his recently deceased wife with Raleigh White’s pastor but was also denied entry. As for the rest of New Seasons’ assembly who arrived at the church, Raleigh White members told them to wait in their cars until the service started.
The Mallory Baptist Association announced Raleigh White’s expulsion on the anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. The association’s statement clarified the expulsion was not merely punitive but was meant to inspire repentance and that, if Raleigh White so chooses, there is a path to reconciliation and re-integration with the association.
“The recommendation called for serious actions, but they were not meant simply to punish but ultimately to bring about reconciliation and strengthen our association’s witness in the communities in which we minister. We seek above all to advance the Gospel and honor our Lord Jesus Christ,” the statement read.
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