Alabama Media Group reports…
“In the days since he said he was fired for inviting black children to church, Pastor Jonathan Greer said he’s been “flooded with support.”
In an email to AL.com, Greer, 26, said he was “told explicitly in a meeting with deacons that the church did not want me to invite black people to church.”
Efforts by AL.com to reach church officials were not successful. Deacons told a television station the allegation is not true.
Greer served as pastor of Mt. Sterling Baptist Church in Butler for a year and a half until he was suddenly fired by a unanimous vote by deacons on Sunday. The vote came after Greer invited black children from the neighboring community to Vacation Bible School and preached a sermon the previous Sunday calling on the church to repent for its racism, the pastor said.
“This incident with VBS is simply what brought the problem to a head,” he said.
In an interview with WTOK, Freddie Moore, a church deacon, said black residents are welcome at Mt. Sterling, and that Greer was fired for not working with deacons and not visiting church members.
When asked what he hopes comes from his story going public, Greer said: “My sincere hope is that the church will open its doors to people of all races. Not in words only, but in action. Not everyone in the church feels the same way that the leadership does. I pray they can influence the church towards a more gospel centered approach to reach their community for Jesus.”
Black families make up a large percentage of the neighboring community of the church, he said.
Greer, who is from Meridian, Miss., said he doesn’t know what is next for him.
“I hope to eventually find a church to pastor,” he said, “but I’m taking a break right now and not committing to anything.”
Greer said Mt. Sterling Baptist is the first church he has pastored, but he has served in the ministry since 2009.”