Pastor William J. Collier and his Church of God's Chosen are holding a Christian conference and all are invited -- as long as they are white.
Flyers for the conference with the title: "Annual Pastors Conference All White Christians Invited" first appeared on Monday in the town of Winfield in western Alabama, outraging many local residents.
According to WECT.com, the mayor of Winfield is adamant that the event is not representative of the community in any way.
"Business people are upset. The city is upset. The city of Winfield does not condone this," Mayor Wayne Silas said.
When asked about the conference's Whites Only policy, Collier offered this explanation to WECT:
"We don't have the facilities to accommodate other people. We haven't got any invitations to black, Muslim events. Of course we are not invited to Jewish events and stuff."
Now underway, the conference is offering seminars on the "America Christian Nation" and "Grass Roots Activism," along with daily worship. The event reportedly is festooned with symbols of the Ku Klux Klan, Confederate flags and white supremacy slogans.
Collier told WSFA48 News the expression of white supremacy is an aspect of the group's religious freedom.
"We are not breaking any laws, we are not violating any ordinances, we are bringing the word of God to people who want it ... who are part of the chosen race," he told the news outlet.
By which he means white people.
When confronted by a reporter with Bible verses on equality of all races, Rev. Mel Lewis, the founder of Christian Identity Ministries, the event's co-sponsor, got defensive:
"Well, you've picked out some wonderful verses out of context and out of the direction of Scripture. All you're doing is making a mockery of God's Word," said Lewis, according to WFSA. "You're absolutely abusing the Scripture."
The three-day conference will conclude on July 6 with a cross burning, which organizers are calling a "Sacred Christian Cross Lighting Ceremony." The flyer makes explicit that the event is for whites only.
More:Mel Lewis White's Only Christian Conference Christian Identity Movement Christianity And Racism Winfield Whites Only Conference
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