A North Carolina church caused a firestorm when its lead pastor apparently requested "only white people" serve as greeters, a WBTV report claims.
Carmen Thomas, a member of Freedom House Church, was outraged after receiving an email regarding this from church Pastor Makeda Pennycooke.
The pastor reportedly asked people of color to please refrain from serving as greeters at the 9 a.m. service during the congregation's busiest season.
Pennycooke, an African-American, told volunteers that "first impressions matter" and that the congregation wanted "the best of the best on the front doors."
Thomas said she thinks Pennycooke was attempting to attract white worshippers.
"We are [working] to bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line," she wrote. "So we would like to ask that only white people be on the front doors."
According to WBTV, Pennycooke has since apologized for the email.
Church officials told the news station after the story broke.
"The pastors have been meeting with staff and church members to confirm their commitment to diversity and to ensure nothing like this happens again."
"Freedom House believes in a diverse relationship within its membership, reflecting the larger community in which the church resides, doing life together as a church."
One "representative of everyone - culturally, ethnically, economically, and generationally."