Rev. Dewayne Warren of Hickory Grove United Methodist Church in Mississippi’s Sumrall County has declined the request of a young couple to baptize their baby. The baby, Presleigh, was born to Kamri Mclendon and Tristan Mcphail. Mclendon attended the church for years and wanted her baby’s baptism to take place there. However, a letter sent by the reverend informed them that he has refused to conduct the holy ceremony as the parents are unmarried and hence “living in sin.” Mclendon shared the letter on Facebook and expressed that the church made her feel “shamed.” In the letter, the reverend also mentioned that Mclendon’s mother is also living with a man with whom she is not married.
Daily Mail reports:
A young couple in Mississippi wanted their new baby to be baptized at their church, but said the reverend sent them a letter refusing to perform the sacred ceremony because they were not married and ‘living in sin.’
Kamri Mclendon, 18, and her boyfriend of two years, Tristan Mcphail, are parents to daughter Presleigh, who was born in May.
Mclendon had been attending Hickory Grove United Methodist Church in Sumrall, Mississippi since she was young and wanted her own daughter to be baptized there.
But in a letter the young mother shared on Facebook, Rev. Dewayne Warren wrote that he would not be performing the baptism because the baby was born out of wedlock and that Mclendon and ‘the baby’s father’ were living together ‘in sin.’
He also pointed out that Mclendon’s mother was also not married, yet living with a man, and that the couple were not in regular attendance at the church.
Mclendon, who shared the letter on Facebook, explained they had missed some church services because of their schedule with a new baby.
She added that she felt ‘shamed’ by the church she grew up in and wrote: ‘Instances like this are why young people are scared to go to church. We are aware we sinned, but us repenting for that is between us and the Lord, not to be shamed by a church,’ Mclendon wrote.
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