The Rev. Dr. Kenneth T. Whalum, Jr.'s response to media inquiries over why his church expelled a lesbian couple from a worship service are only adding to the controversy. Youtube videos of services at New Olivet that are widely available to all provide a glimpse of the animated and spirited worship services held at the church. Dr. Whalum's subjective and vague claim that Yas Meen and Monique Stevens were "boisterous and loud" during the service last Sunday might also describe him and the rest of the congregation when the spirit runs high during services at the church.
His refusal to provide a more detailed description of the "disruptive behavior" he says took place only increases suspicion of the reason he gave for why the couple was accosted and ejected from his church. It is particularly galling that Dr. Whalum would resort to the tiresome claim that a lesbian couple must have an "agenda" if they are attending his church. The only agenda they had was to hear from a mayoral candidate whom they wanted to support. Dr. Whalum and New Olivet Baptist Church have every right to preach the word and worship in any way they wish. But when Dr. Whalum declares that he wants to be Mayor of this city, his appeal must be broader than than the pews he fills each Sunday in church.
Many people have commented on the Commercial Appeal story that New Olivet records video of each church service. Releasing video of what happened last Sunday would help clarify what really happened.