In a decisive move by the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), a rural Oklahoma church has been expelled from its membership after resurfaced images and video footage revealed its white pastor impersonating the late singer Ray Charles in blackface during a talent show.
Southern Baptist Convention Removes Matoaka Baptist Church
The executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, voted to declare Matoaka Baptist Church in Ochelata, Oklahoma, as “not in friendly cooperation” with the convention – a decision that effectively removes Matoaka Baptist Church from the convention.
Past Issues of Discriminatory Behavior at Matoaka Baptist Church
The decision stemmed from the church’s failure to address and rectify past issues related to discriminatory behavior.
Pastor in Blackface Impersonating Ray Charles
The controversy erupted when a video posted on Facebook in 2017 showed Matoaka Baptist’s pastor, Sherman Jaquess, impersonating Ray Charles.
In the video, Jaquess dons blackface, including a wig and dark makeup covering his face, neck, and hands.
Local Activist Brings Facebook Video to Public Attention
Local activist Marq Lewis brought the incident to the forefront in April when he shared screenshots of pictures from the 2017 talent show, which Matoaka Baptist uploaded to their very own Facebook page.
Consequences of the Expulsion
In response to the expulsion, Matoaka Baptist Church will lose its privileges to send voting delegates to the Southern Baptist Convention and contribute donations through the organization’s cooperative program.
Pastor Jaquess Denies Racism
In an interview with The Baptist Press, a prominent Southern Baptist news outlet, Pastor Jaquess strongly denied any racism in his portrayal of Ray Charles.
“I’m The Least Racial Person That I Know”
“My whole life’s work, I’ve worked with multiple different types of racial people. I don’t have a racial bone in my body. I’m the least racial person that I know,” Jaquess asserted.
He further explained that the flash on the camera made his face appear black and clarified, “It was just brown.”
Southern Baptist Convention’s Firm Stance
While Jaquess maintains that there was nothing “derogatory” about his performance, the Southern Baptist Convention and many others have taken a firm stance against such actions, viewing them as deeply insensitive and racially offensive.
Different Views on the Controversial Performance
Jaquess stressed, “Any defaming act is repugnant,” adding, “But I don’t get offended when Black people play a part in a movie or a comedy act, and they act like a different race. I know my heart.
I didn’t have anything hateful or derogatory toward any race.”
Jaquess Calls SBC’s Decision “Repugnant”
Jaquess went on to state that he thought SBC’s “decision is repugnant” as “They made a decision and recommendation on something they don’t know anything about.”
Approval and Support for the SBC’s Action
Marq Lewis, who initially brought attention to the incident, expressed his approval of the Southern Baptist Convention’s decision.
On X (formerly Twitter), he posted, “Way to go @SouthernBapCon for kicking this racist out. Thank you, supporters, for keeping the pressure on.”
Possibility of an Appeal
According to convention spokesperson Jon Wilke, Matoaka Baptist Church can appeal the expulsion decision.
SBC Addressing Racism
This move by the Southern Baptist Convention reflects a growing commitment within the organization to address issues of racism and discrimination.
Denial of Appeals by Other Ousted Churches
During its annual meeting in June, the convention voted to deny appeals from at least three other ousted churches, including Saddleback Church in Southern California, led by pastor and author Rick Warren.
Saddleback Church’s Unique Case
Saddleback Church faced expulsion for allowing women to serve as pastors.
SBC’s Commitment to Upholding Its Values
As the SBC takes this significant step toward fostering a more inclusive and respectful community, the expulsion of Matoaka Baptist Church highlights the denomination’s commitment to addressing incidents that run counter to its values.
Walmart Employee Terminated After 16 Years As She Exposed Dark Side of Retail Online
Platforms like TikTok have become a popular outlet for users to share behind-the-scenes revelations about various industries, shedding light on their harsh realities. From Domino’s delivery drivers exposing their meager tips to Instacart shoppers calling out fraudulent refund attempts, these revelations can have unintended consequences when higher-ups take notice. Walmart Employee Terminated After 16 Years As She Exposed Dark Side of Retail Online
Die Quickly, Quietly and CHEAPLY: Doctors Expose Dark Truths About Profit-Driven US Healthcare System
A doctor’s video exposing the profit-driven motives of health insurance companies and their alleged disregard for patient well-being goes viral, sparking discussions about the need for healthcare system reform. Die Quickly, Quietly and CHEAPLY: Doctors Expose Dark Truths About Profit-Driven US Healthcare System
Passenger Called Out “Emotional Support Dog” Seated Next to Her Genuine Service Dog on Flight
Remember that time when people were trying to pass off all sorts of creatures as emotional support animals to bring them on airplanes? From peacocks to tortoises, goats to monkeys, and even turkeys, it seemed like anything could be labeled as “emotional support” to justify its presence. Passenger Called Out “Emotional Support Dog” Seated Next to Her Genuine Service Dog on Flighasdt
“It’s Legal Tender!” – Obnoxious Customer Gets EXACTLY What He Demanded From This Cunning Cashier
Confronted by an entitled customer, this quick-thinking cashier makes sure he has a change in attitude. She complies with his requests and without breaking a rule ensures their transaction is anything but convenient. “It’s Legal Tender!” – Obnoxious Customer Gets EXACTLY What He Demanded From This Cunning Cashier
“Not Silenced” – Huge Protests After Judge Orders Newspaper to Destroy Electronic Data Going Against the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press
In a recent decision, a judge has ruled that Kansas authorities must delete all electronic copies of a small newspaper’s files that were made during a police raid on its office and has people questioning the police department’s understanding of the First Amendment. “Not Silenced” – Huge Protests After Judge Orders Newspaper to Destroy Electronic Data Going Against the First Amendment and Freedom of the Press
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Eric Glenn. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.