The Perfecting Church, home to famed gospel singer and Pastor Marvin Winans, is having a special dedication ceremony for the congregation’s youngest members on Sunday. Charity Grace, a Detroiter who recently started attending services at the church on East Nevada Street, wanted her only son, two-year-old Joshua Grace, to share in the blessings.
“I want to instill values and morals in my son based upon the word of God,” she told Fox 2 Detroit.
But when she called Perfecting Church on Tuesday to sign up Joshua for the ceremony, Charity said she was told by a woman elected in the church that Pastor Winans has a strict policy — he won’t bless the babies of unwed mothers in front of the congregation, Fox 2 Detroit reported.
Grace said she felt degraded by the pastor’s decision. She’s hoping he reconsiders, even if it means having her son dedicated during the week by a church elder.
Until then, she told Fox 2 Detroit she has no plans to return to Perfecting Church.
“I absolutely would not set foot back in the church right now because I feel like they look down upon me and my kind, meaning single moms and unwed mothers,” Grace said.
Pope Francis recently said in May that the Catholic Church should bless children born out of wedlock, because their mothers chose life over abortion.
“’Look at this girl who had had the courage to carry her pregnancy to term. … “What does she find? A closed door,” he said, according to Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano. “This is not good pastoral zeal, it distances people from the Lord and does not open doors.”
Dr. Jacqui Lewis is the Senior Minister of Middle Collegiate Church in Manhattan’s East Village. She told The Huffington Post she was surprised that a child “of any kind” would be denied a blessing from a church, and referenced the Gospel of Mark, 10:10-16: