Yesterday, news broke about a pastor's conference in Beaverton, Alabama where only white Christians were invited to attend. The conference began today and will go for three days, concluding on Friday with a "sacred Christian cross burning ceremony."
News station ABC 3340 interviewed William Collier, pastor of the Church of God's Chosen and sponsor of the event.
"We are people of like minds who come here," Collier told reporters. He said that "we don't have facilities" when asked whether the conference excluded black people. "We're seldom ever, if ever, have been invited to black, Muslim events and we've never been invited to NAACP events. We've never been invited to Jewish synagogue events and stuff," he said, saying that his pastor's conference is not a racist event, even though members of the KKK will be there. "It has nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of racism or hate or anything like that," he claimed.
As to the cross burning ceremony, Collier explained, "Our rendition to lighting the cross is opposition to tyranny."
Residents of the nearby City of Winfield, where the fliers were distributed, were shocked and disgusted. "They came in on the cover of night and put them on businesses' doors," Mayor Wayne Silas told reporters. The mayor asked the police to take the fliers down and started making calls. "The FBI is aware of it. The NAACP is aware of it," he said, adding that he does not want the flier to reflect the views of the city. A business owner who found a flier tacked on the door of her shop at first thought the flier contained a typo, adding that she thought this type of thing was over years ago.
According to ABC3340, hundreds of people are expected to attend the conference.