The whole nation has had eyes on Mississippi - particularly on the First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs. Recently the pastor was pressured by a few influential members of the church not to conduct wedding services for an African-American man and woman even though they had been attending the predominantly white congregation for some time.
In an effort to keep the peace - the pastor and the to-be married couple- moved to a church down the street for the ceremony. Most of the members of the church were outraged that a few had shamed the many and spoke out. Unfortunately the damage had been done.
However...while people in many parts of the nation will always believe the worst about Mississippi and will use this as an example that we are still living in the days of Jim Crow as portrayed in movies like "Mississippi Burning"....there is another narrative at play here. Scores of white people demonstrated along side black people protesting this intolerance. The church made a public apology to the couple and their families. There is plenty of evidence that this has been a teachable experience and that the vast majority of Mississippi has truly changed. While the few members who caused this unfortunate controversy have not had the courage or character to come forth and take responsibility. There is one to whom they will have to answer. Hopefully now the healing can truly begin and communication will be more honest and fruitful than ever before.