- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A North Carolina church is making headlines after its pastor, a black female, sent an email to volunteers asking that “only white people” stand at the front door to greet congregants, local media reported.

A viewer told WBTV that Pastor Makeda Pennycooke, of Freedom House Church, sent an email to a group of members who act as greeters for the church’s morning service.

“I was floored,” said Carmen Thomas, who has volunteered at the church for two years. “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 a busy time of the year and “first impressions matter.”

“We anticipate having an increase in the number of people visiting and attending Freedom House over the next few weeks,” she writes.

She then argues that 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 wrote. “So we would like to ask that only white people be on the front doors.”

Freedom House Church issued a statement regretting the pastor’s email.

“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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