Many locally and around the world are sharing a story on social media about a Carter County pastor that is coming under fire after a sermon he preached in 2013 was put online.
The sermon was a controversial one about interracial marriage, in which the pastor says he's against it. "I'm going to deal with something for a few minutes and it's and it's probably going to make some folks mad, but what's new," says Pastor Donny Reagan.
That's exactly what the sermon did. Pastor Donny Reagan of Happy Valley Church of Jesus Christ in Carter County Tennessee is getting national attention and stirring up a lot of emotions with his sermon against interracial marriage. "I think that people should have the right to be with whoever they want to be whoever they choose," says Charlotte Carroll, who disagrees with the pastor.
"I appreciate these pastors that stand up for what's right and for the true Bible. So many churches are getting away from the Bible," adds Charlene Hartley, who sided with Reagan.
During the message, Reagan refers to a sermon preached by Pentecostal preacher William Branham in 1960 with strong beliefs against interracial marriage. "I don't believe in mixing marriages. I believe a white man should not marry a colored woman or a colored girl marry a white man," said Reagan, quoting from the sermon.
Reagan went on to say he would refuse to marry any interracial couple. "Any of you young people want to marry a black man, you girls don't ask me to do it because I will not. I refuse," he said.
The 17-minute video was from a sermon back in April 2013; it was posted on several news sites last week and already has more than 40,000 views. "We're all behind him. We were here when he preached the message, and he has certain regrets that he brought that up," says church trustee Kenneth Younce.
Younce is a trustee in the church; he tells us Pastor Reagan has been the pastor at the church for 25 years and the congregation is standing behind him. "Brother Reagan is a great, great man of God. We're behind him and believe exactly what he's saying," he told us.
Even though the church is supporting the pastor, the message is leaving members of the community at odds. "I agree that interracial marriage is wrong," says Hartley.
"Relationships are great if you love each other, and that should be that," adds Carroll.
We reached out to Pastor Donny Reagan to get his side of the story, but our call was not returned.
Watch the video here: