Pastor Nullifies Church Ban on Interracial Couples

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Church Torn by Ban on Interracial Couples

Ultimately, nine people voted for the motion and six voted against it and interracial couples were banned.

"It hurt," Harville said. "[Stella] knew she was going to face some challenges after she decided she would marry Ticha, but I didn't think it would be from our family."

Stella Harville and Chikuni did not respond to requests for comment.

Other churches in the community have condemned the decision.

Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County/Pikeville Area Ministerial Association, which includes about 60 churches, said many people already have "stigmas" and "stereotypes" that they associate with Appalachia and that this decision does not accurately represent the vast majority of the community.

"This really is an anomaly. This is not in any way, shape or form the sentiment of any other local churches or church leaders," Johnson said. "It really has saddened many people. It goes against almost everyone else's philosophy and theology of what it means to be a church."

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