Pastor Jonathan Greer says he was fired by the Mount Sterling Baptist Church in Butler, Alabama, on July 31 for inviting black children to the church's Vacation Bible School (video below).
"There was pushback about where the types of children that we were bringing in, and I was asked to not invite black children to the VBS," Greer told WTOK.
Freddie Moore, a deacon at the church, refused to appear on camera, but told the news station that race was not an issue, but rather Greer's refusal to work with the deacons and Greer's lack of visits to church members.
In response, Greer said: "This was a particular deacon that did ask me, and ultimately, two deacons that had asked me not to invite black people."
Moore countered that anyone was welcome at the church, but Greer said: "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 asked me, to not invite black people. And I tried to communicate with them that that's not consistent with Christianity."
According to Greer, the deacons called for him to step down quietly, but Greer refused to do so because of the church bylaws. Greer's parting sermon on July 31 was about racism.
"I wanted the church to know that this is not consistent with the gospel," Greet told WTOK. "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 does not think the all the church members agree with the deacons, and added that he did not to seek out the TV station for an interview, but rather responded to an inquiry by WTOK.
According to SBCVoices.com, a blog about Southern Baptists, the Mount Sterling Baptist Church has an all-white membership, but sits in a mostly black community.