A pastor in Charlotte, North Carolina has sent out an email to volunteers stressing that “only white people” meet parishioners at the doors of the church.The message was sent out by Pastor Makeda Pennycooke of Freedom House. She mentioned how she wanted “the best of the best on the front doors.”
“We anticipate having an increase in the number of people visiting and attending Freedom House over the next few weeks.
“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,” Pennycooke wrote.
She adds that she would prefer less greeters in a bid for quality over quantity.
Several members of the congregation were upset by the message, including two-year church member Carmen Thomas.
“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 gonna see Asians. You're going to see people of color,” Thomas says.
She argues that she believes the church is trying to attract more well-off members of the congregation.
The church issued a statement to WBTV and mentioned that pastor apologized within 24 hours of emailing the volunteers.
“The greeting team was no longer reflecting the racial diversity of our entire congregation,” she explained.
Pastor Pennycooke was joined in the apology by Senior Pastors Troy and Penny Maxwell.
“She made an error in judgment in requesting all white greeters at the front door, going overboard in placing emphasis on any one race over another in trying to highlight diversity within the greeting team. [...] She admits this was a grave lapse in judgment and is sincerely sorry for her actions,” a Freedom House Church spokeswoman says.