Baptist association offers pathway to reinstatement for GA church disassociated for racism
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - On Wednesday, the New Seasons Church in Albany moved all of its equipment and supplies out of the building they shared with Raleigh White Baptist Church after Raleigh White was disassociated by the Mallary Baptist Association Tuesday night.
Officials said this is the first time a Southern Baptist Convention church has been disassociated because of racism.
The former pastor of Raleigh White Baptist Church said he is praying that current church officials will repent, and be restored to the association.
Reverend Ronnie Kinsaul left Raleigh White in December and has not attended any services there since. But he said in a statement that he has a great love for both Raleigh White and New Seasons.
Below is Kinsaul's entire statement given to WALB:
Knowing many of the men on the Administrative Team of the Mallary Baptist Association, I am sure that they made their decision after much prayer and consideration. It is unfortunate that such action had to be taken. I have a great love for both Raleigh White and New Season's churches. My prayer is that God will work in everyone's hearts and that where repentance is needed, repentance will be asked for and where forgiveness is needed, forgiveness will be given. I also pray that people will refrain from passing on rumors and that this will be something that will make race relations better and not worse. We were all created by the same God, who died on the cross for all of us. Our God is a God of reconciliation.
Mallary officials said that the two churches combined congregation and within six months there were tensions brewing.
According to the Mallary Baptist Association, the peak of the racist disputes was during a homecoming event that Raleigh White Church did not want the congregation of New Seasons to attend. Then Raleigh White members told New Seasons members they wouldn't allow them into the building until after 2:30 pm.
Mallary Association leaders concluded that Raleigh White members' attitudes and acts were racially-motivated.
Mallary officials said they have set up "a pathway to reinstatement to fellowship with the association if the church openly repents of their sin against the other church."
Kinsaul said his prayer is that Raleigh White will seek repentance and forgiveness.
Meanwhile, the Mallary Association said several Albany churches have offered the use of their facilities for New Seasons Church to worship.
Officials said they have not yet made a decision about the churches future location.
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