oni 6

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oni 6 - Pastor Fired On 'Open Door' Policy MACON, Ga....
Pastor Fired On 'Open Door' Policy MACON, Ga. (UPD—A Bap- Dr. Thomas J. Holmes said of shattered his faith. not university affiliated. Jerry E. Rodgeri, "lirrpjn of ^ MACON, Ga. (UPD-A Baptist Baptist congregation fired its pastor and two of his assistants Sunday for advocating opening church services to Negroes. At the same time, the church refused admittance to an African student who had been converted to Christianity by Southern Baptist missionaries. " I have committed the unpardonable sin of a Southern minister preaching integration in a Southern towu," the Kev. Dr. Thomas J. Holmes said of his dismissal by vote of the congregation. Turned Away Stedeats While the vote was being taken, deacons of the Tatnall Square Church turned away Sam Jerry Oni, a Niegenan who came to Baptist-oriented Mercer University there in 1863 despite "the situation" in the South. Oni, who wab detained in a police car ior about an hour, said toe experience ueaily shattered his faith. Fired from the church staff were Or. Holmes, the Rev. Douglas Johnson, the assistant pastor, and Jack W. Jones, minister of music. All three have advocated an "open door" policy in the church. "My faith hat almost been shattered," said Oni, 25. But he vowed he would try again next Sunday to attend services at the church located on the Mercer campus. The church is not university affiliated. Held Veie The church's board of deacons deacons in July voted to dismiss the three clergymen for admitting admitting Negro college students at June 26 services. The students were part of an upward bound program, which gives exceptional exceptional low-income high school students college training during the summer. The general membership voted 259 to 18« Sunday to dismiss the three, according to Jerry E. Rodgeri, the deacon*. "U ha« btea a teat el my faith in * tense, but it hM •)•« been a strengthening of my faith," the B»v. Dr. llrfniri said. "This hat chow* me tk* importance of truth. 'I don't w«H %i MMfe my * church," he added. "TmW*, £ ( * who honestly right."

Clipped from
  1. Clovis News-Journal,
  2. 26 Sep 1966, Mon,
  3. Page 1

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