Black Pastor, Makeda Pennycooke, Asks ‘Only Whites’ To Greet Church Visitors

Cassie Boss - Author

Sep. 3 2013, Updated 1:38 p.m. ET

A North Carolina pastor, Makeda Pennycooke, is under fire after asking that “only white people” stand at the front door of her Charlotte church to greet the congregation.

According to Fox News, Pastor Makeda Pennycooke, who is African-American, recently sent an e-mail to volunteers who act as greeters at Freedom House Church in Charlotte.

In the email, Pennycooke wrote that “first impressions matter” and said the church wants “the best of the best on the front doors.”

She continued on to say, “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.”

One member of the church stated that she was “floored” by Pennycooke’s request.

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“Like it was a jaw dropper,” Thomas said. “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.”

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

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“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.”

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WBTV continued on to say the following:

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“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.”

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Many members of the church were shocked by the nature of the email. It’s one thing to put your best foot forward, but members of the church believe that you can’t do so by breaking it down by race.

Do you think that Makeda Pennycooke meant well in her message of putting the church’s “best foot forward” and having only white people greet visitors?

Many say the understand why she said it, but that Makeda Pennycookecould have gone about it in another way.

[photo credit: robinsan via photopincc]


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