He said the proposal was discriminatory, therefore it couldn't be adopted.
Stepp said about 30 people who attended church services voted on a new resolution that welcomes "believers into our fellowship regardless of race, creed or color."The issue came up at the tiny all-white Appalachian church after the daughter of church secretary Dean Harville visited over the summer with her boyfriend, who is from Africa, and the two sang for the congregation.
Bob Jones III, president of Bob Jones University (BJU), announced March 3 that the fundamentalist school is dropping its longstanding ban on interracial dating.
The move comes after widespread criticism of the policy in the wake of presidential candidate George W. Jones surprised students and supporters by announcing the policy change during an interview on CNN's "Larry King Live." Jones acknowledged that recent scrutiny of the school's policies was behind the decision. "All of a sudden the university is at the center of a Republican presidential debate."The southern school adopted its ban on interracial dating in the 1950s.
"Thompson told me that Stella and her boyfriend were not allowed to sing in the church any more," said Mr Harville. ” He added that the ban was a “black eye to the church, a black eye to our community and a black eye to God”.
Harville said many people left or declined to vote.
Though reminiscent of some Jim Crow-era mandate, the Gulnare Freewill Baptist Church actually made the decision earlier this month, following a visit from 24-year-old Stella Harville, daughter of the church's secretary and clerk, and her 29-year-old fiance, Ticha Chikuni, a native of Zimbabwe.
According to Harville's father, Dean Harville, Stella brought Chikuni to the church in June where they performed a song for the congregation.
The denomination believes in the Bible is inerrant and local churches have autonomy over decision-making.
“It’s been a non-issue with us,” Burden said, adding that many interracial couples attend Free Will Baptist churches. Burden said the association can move to strip the local church of its affiliation with the national denomination if it’s not resolved. The church’s vote on interracial marriage was first reported this week by East Kentucky Broadcasting, a network of local radio stations in the region.