Viral post alleges Black woman turned away from Arkansas church due to race
FORREST CITY, Ark. — An Arkansas church is receiving backlash after allegedly turning away a Black woman.
The Forrest City church said it was all a miscommunication.
The woman claimed a church member at First Baptist Church of Forrest City turned her and her family away; she then took to Facebook to describe her experience.
The post went viral and has been shared thousands of times.
In it, the woman said a church member turned her away due to the color of her skin and claimed she experienced uncomfortable racial terms.
She said she had received an invite to the church, but a man at the door told her to come back when services began.
The church’s pastor, Steve Walter, addressed the incident during Sunday’s service.
He said the woman came during Sunday School, which is open to all.
The woman’s post went on to say that she then asked a female member of the church, “Is everyone not welcomed here?”
The other woman then allegedly told her, “We’ve had coloreds here before.”
The pastor said he believes the incident is an example of miscommunication and the incident didn’t come from a bad place. He said the congregation has had Black members join the church in the past who still support its ministry.
Walter said he took the time to explain to his congregation that they must be sensitive in how they communicate with other cultures while being open and accepting of everyone.
He said everyone is welcome to worship at the church.
“The first thing that needs to happen is this young woman and gentleman need to know and hear an apology from us,” he said. “We need to express genuine repentance, which biblically is a change of mind. It’s a change of emotion. It’s a change of affection and a change of will.”
Walter called the incident a ‘setback.’
Yesterday FOX13 reached out to the woman who created the viral post.
She declined our request for an on-camera interview.
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