Local pastor Alfred T. Lance and Poston Road Baptist Church Elder Pete Maynard bump heads over bylaws. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

Protesters say church membership bylaws discriminate

Protesters outside a Clayton County church said they can’t be members because of their race.

According to Channel 2 Action News, Poston Road Baptist Church in Jonesboro has a predominantly white membership, but the neighborhood surrounding it has mostly black residents.

Channel 2 reported that the church bylaws require good-standing members to recommend new members, a rule some residents think keeps them from joining. New members also have a six-month probation period.

“I feel like this is a race issue and the people that are here don’t want African-Americans, even though we live in this community,” Alfred T. Lands, a local pastor and leader of the protest, told Channel 2. “They don’t want us in this church.”

Non-members are allowed to attend the services, but not join the church.

Poston Road Baptist Church Elder Pete Maynard told Channel 2 the membership requirements have nothing to do with race.

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