Pastor Makeda Pennycooke, of the Freedom House Church in Charlotte, N.C., recently sent out an email to church members asking for the greeters at Sunday services to be white.
Pastor Pennycooke, who is African American, wrote in part: “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. We would rather have less greeters on the front door if it means that the few that we have will represent us the best.”
Church member Carmen Thomas told WBTV (video below): “I was floored. 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.”
A church spokeswoman stated that an apology was sent out within 24 hours: “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 admitted it was a mistake to over-emphasize any specific group and sent an apology email 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.”
Thomas doesn’t believe the apology and suggested that the church is trying to get high-income churchgoers to increase its finances.
“Perhaps you believe that with a certain congregation that eventually your finances are going to run out because maybe we aren't the moneymakers,” claimed Thomas.