A North Carolina pastor is under fire after reportedly asking that "only white people" stand at the front door of her Charlotte church to greet the congregation.
Pastor Makeda Pennycooke, who is African-American, recently sent an e-mail to volunteers who act as greeters at Freedom House Church in Charlotte. In it, Pennycooke wrote that "first impressions matter" and said the church wants "the best of the best on the front doors," according to local reports.
"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."
Carmen Thomas, who has attended and served at the church for the past two years, told WBTV that she was "floored" by the request.
"Like it was a jaw dropper," Thomas told the station. "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."
A spokeswoman for the church confirmed to WBTV the e-mail was sent by Pastor Pennycooke.
"The e-mail 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 e-mail within 24 hours of the original email going out."