Melvin Thompson is a former pastor of the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church in Pike County, Kentucky. Thompson is oldschool. So while other fundies were railing against and gnashing their teeth over same-sex couples a couple of years ago, Thompson and his congregation went on to ban interracial couples from their church. The church went on record saying that while all people were welcome to attend public worship services there, the church did not condone interracial marriage; in particular “parties of such marriages will not be received as members, nor will they be used in worship services” or other church functions (with the exception of funerals.) Officially, the recommendation “is not intended to judge the salvation of anyone, but is intended to promote greater unity among the church body and the community we serve,” which, if true, doesn’t exactly paint that community in a particularly sympathetic light. It is correct, by the way: the congregation put the resolution to the vote, and it passed 9–6. Thompson was of course quick to emphasize that he is not racist, and went on to lament how he and the resolution were portrayed in the media, i.e. as being somehow racist – “but it is not,” asserted Thompson; rather, the resolution is an “internal affair” of the church.
The Sandy Valley Conference of Free Will Baptists, of which Thompson’s church is part, quickly went on to nullify the resolution. Thompson himself was replaced as a pastor, but remained a member of the congregation and apparently brought the issue up again later, asking for it to be discussed at a business meeting among the church’s men. Yes, the context of the request includes another little detail that shouldn’t exactly help enhance the image of the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church.
Diagnosis: Fill in whatever you fancy.