Pastor e-mail: "Only white people" at front door of church - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Charlotte pastor: "Only white people" at front door of church

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Controversy has sparked at a north Charlotte church after a pastor sent an email asking that "only white people" stand at the front door to greet the congregation.

A viewer contacted WBTV after getting an email from Pastor Makeda Pennycooke, an African-American woman, at Freedom House Church along Salome Church Road.

The email was sent to a group of church volunteers who act as greeters for the church's 9 a.m. service.

Carmen Thomas, who has attended and served at the church for the past two years, sent us the email. She was appalled.

"I was floored," she recalled. "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."

In the email, Pastor Pennycooke reminds volunteers that fall is one of the busiest times of year for the church.

"We anticipate having an increase in the number of people visiting and attending Freedom House over the next few weeks," Pastor Pennycooke says in the email.

She then says that "first impressions matter" and says the church wants "the best of the best on the front doors."

"We are continuing to work to bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line," she continued in the email. "So we would like to ask that only white people be on the front doors."

Thomas told WBTV she knew exactly what Pastor Pennycooke meant by that statement.

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

Pennycooke then acknowledges the request is a "sensitive situation" and said quality trumps quantity.

"We would rather have less greeters on the front door if it means that the few that we have will represent us the best," Pastor Pennycooke wrote.

Thomas also told us that she's been an active and engaged member of the church for more than two years. She feels race isn't the only issue but also 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," she said.

WBTV contacted the Freedom House Church about the email and a spokeswoman for the church confirms the email was sent out by Pastor Pennycooke.

"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," a statement sent to WBTV read. "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 viewer told WBTV a letter of apology was issued to some people from Pastor Pennycooke and Senior Pastors Troy and Penny Maxwell.

"The pastors have been meeting with staff and church members to confirm their commitment to diversity and to ensure nothing like this happens again," church officials told WBTV. "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."

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Pastor found dead at parent's home

    Pastor found dead at parent's home

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 6:32 PM EST2017-11-22 23:32:15 GMT
    Quentin Barlow (Source: Family)Quentin Barlow (Source: Family)

    A local pastor was found dead in his family's home Wednesday morning.

    More >>

    A local pastor was found dead in his family's home Wednesday morning.

    More >>
  • FedEx worker killed at airport hub

    FedEx worker killed at airport hub

    Thursday, November 23 2017 5:45 AM EST2017-11-23 10:45:39 GMT
    (Source: WMC Action News 5)(Source: WMC Action News 5)

    FedEx has confirmed that a worker was killed at the airport this morning.

    More >>

    FedEx has confirmed that a worker was killed at the airport this morning.

    More >>
  • 50 employees fired after refusing flu shot

    50 employees fired after refusing flu shot

    Wednesday, November 22 2017 2:14 AM EST2017-11-22 07:14:40 GMT
    Wednesday, November 22 2017 2:14 AM EST2017-11-22 07:14:40 GMT
    At least 50 enployees at a health company have lost their jobs after refusing to get flu shots. (Source: KBJR/CN)At least 50 enployees at a health company have lost their jobs after refusing to get flu shots. (Source: KBJR/CN)

    Since September, employees have been given three options:  Get the flu shot, get an approved religious or medical exemption, or leave Essentia. At least 50 people have lost their jobs thus far.

    More >>

    Since September, employees have been given three options:  Get the flu shot, get an approved religious or medical exemption, or leave Essentia. At least 50 people have lost their jobs thus far.

    More >>
  • NewsMore>>

  • VA study shows parasite from Vietnam may be killing vets

    VA study shows parasite from Vietnam may be killing vets

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 4:11 PM EST2017-11-21 21:11:31 GMT
    Thursday, November 23 2017 9:53 AM EST2017-11-23 14:53:42 GMT

    A half century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet _ test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while...

    More >>

    A half century after serving in Vietnam, hundreds of veterans have a reason to believe they may be dying from a silent bullet _ test results show some men may have been infected by a slow-killing parasite while fighting in the jungles of Southeast Asia.

    More >>
  • Big Tobacco's anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

    Big Tobacco's anti-smoking ads begin after decade of delay

    Tuesday, November 21 2017 1:31 AM EST2017-11-21 06:31:08 GMT
    Thursday, November 23 2017 9:53 AM EST2017-11-23 14:53:39 GMT

    Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, addictive effects of smoking.

    More >>

    Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, addictive effects of smoking.

    More >>
  • Report: Barton said he'd go to Capitol Police over photo

    Report: Barton said he'd go to Capitol Police over photo

    Thursday, November 23 2017 1:12 AM EST2017-11-23 06:12:14 GMT
    Thursday, November 23 2017 9:53 AM EST2017-11-23 14:53:31 GMT

    A published report says U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he would report her to U.S. Capitol Police for exposing his behavior.

    More >>

    A published report says U.S. Rep. Joe Barton of Texas told a woman to whom he had sent sexually explicit photos, videos and messages that he would report her to U.S. Capitol Police for exposing his behavior.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly