NC church apologizes after pastor sought 'only white' greeters

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by CNN.com

CNN.com

Posted on September 3, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 3 at 5:36 PM

A church in Charlotte is now apologizing after its pastor sent an email to its church greeters, asking that "only white people be on the front doors."

One of those emails was sent to Carmen Thomas, now a former member of Freedom House Church.

"I was floored. Like, it was a jaw dropper," Thomas told a TV station in Charlotte.

The minister, who is a black woman, explained why she made the request in her email, saying they wanted to "bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line."

Thomas knew what the minister meant about the congregation.

"Too black. It wasn't a conclusion that I drew. It was something I read," said Thomas, who is black.

Thomas said she was appalled and hurt by the email because she started attending Freedom House because of its diversity.

"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," said Thomas.

Thomas believes it's not just about race, but about the church's bottom line.

"Perhaps you believe that with a certain congregation that eventually your finances are going to run out because maybe we aren't the moneymakers," Thomas said.

But the most baffling thing, she says...using deception to bring more people to church.

"You don't put icing on a chocolate and think that you're eating vanilla. It doesn't make sense. You still know it's chocolate. You still know you're eating a chocolate cake," Thomas said.

The church has apologized for the email and issued a statement that read, "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."

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