An email was distributed to the parishioners of a church in Charlotte that requested, “white greeters only” stand at the front doors of the Freedom House Church for Sunday services. The correspondence was forwarded to WBTV who broke the story on Monday.
According to reports, Pastor Makeda Pennycooke, an African-American woman and pastor of the North Charlotte church, disbursed an email to volunteers of the Freedom House Church, specifically greeters, which requested, “white greeters only” at the front doors for the 9 a.m. Sunday service.
We anticipate having an increase in the number of people visiting and attending Freedom House over the next few weeks…first impressions matter…(the church wants) the best of the best on the front doors. We are continuing to work to bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line. So we would like to ask that only white people be on the front doors.
Carmen Thomas is one of the volunteers and the “appalled” parishioner who forwarded the message to the Charlotte news outlet. She attended the Freedom House Church for the past two years, however Thomas does not plan to return. In a statement to WBTV, Carmen recounted her feelings after receipt of the “white greeters only” email.
Too black…it wasn't a conclusion that I drew. It was something I read. I was floored. Like, it was a jaw dropper. You can put a white face all over the front door. But when you come through those doors, you're going to see African Americans; you're going to see Asians. You're going to see people of color.
Leaders of the Freedom House Church in North Carolina, including Pastor Pennycooke, issued an apology via email after a spokeswoman for the Charlotte Church confirmed the “white greeters only” email to WBTV.
The email was sent by one of our longtime pastors in an attempt to emphasize that our greeting team reflect the racial diversity of our entire congregation. However, she (Pastor Pennycooke) admitted it was a mistake to over-emphasize any specific group and sent an apology email (below) within 24 hours of the original email going out.
The pastors have been meeting with staff and church members to confirm their commitment to diversity and to ensure nothing like this happens again. Freedom House believes in a diverse relationship within its membership, reflecting the larger community in which the church resides, doing life together as a church representative of everyone -- culturally, ethnically, economically, and generationally.
The whistleblower was not convinced of the pastor’s sincerity within the apology email that followed the original “white greeters only” request. What are your thoughts?
Deirdre Haggerty, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior written permission and consent from the author or Clarity Digital Group LLC, DBA Examiner.com.