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Pastor allegedly fires unwed mother who refused to marry soon

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HENRICO COUNTY, Va. — An employee of the Staples Mill Road Baptist Church in Virginia received a phone call Monday that she said she knew was a long time coming.

She was fired, her employers told her. Fired because she was an unwed mother, she said.

“It hurts because I’ve grown up in a Christian home and Christian church my whole life,” Apryl Kellam told CBS 6.

In October, supervisors allegedly told Kellam, who is expecting a baby in April and has children from previous marriages, that she needed to marry her fiancé or at least announce a wedding date. If they did not marry soon, the church allegedly told Kellam, she would be fired from her job at the church daycare because she was in violation of church policy.

Kellam and her fiance James Coalson said they were floored by the church’s request.

"I want to wait so we can have all our family and friends there and have a big wedding," Kellam told CBS 6. "I just don't want to go to the courthouse and have someone marry us."

The church defended its decision on Monday. Pastor James Booth said that he was bound by laws not to say much because it was a personnel matter. He did say all employees are required to sign an employee handbook at the time of employment, Booth told CBS 6, and Kellam knew the rules.

"People are calling us judgmental, but that's judgmental, to say we're being judgmental when they don't know us," Booth told CBS 6. "They don't know our heart. We're not trying to be hurtful, we're just following our personnel handbook which is rotted in our statement of faith and our biblical beliefs."

Kellam, however, argues she never signed an employee handbook. She also claims she was upfront with the church about her living situation when she was hired.

“The only one who can judge me is God himself,” Kellam told CBS 6. .

For more on this story, click here.

 

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7 comments

  • Kn0man

    That’s what happens when “which is rotted in our statement of faith and our biblical beliefs.” rather than rooted! (autocorrect is NOT your friend! ;-) )

  • VoiceOfReason

    Religious beliefs aside, why would you sign an employee contract if you don’t agree with it. Sounds like all she has to do is set a date and the problem is solved. Stop whining!

  • CBP

    Read the Bible Sweety…. You could be stoned!!! But you are of a generation that seem to want to write your own Bible of Situational Ethics. Good luck with that.
    God will indeed judge you and you are feeling part of that judgement by losing your job. I’ve never cared for the Baptist but I care less for Baby Squirters who live off the state and welfare of others. Big wedding my arse. You’ve done your dance.
    Now grow up.

    • bubilility

      How was she a ‘baby squirter who lives off the state and welfare of others’ when she clearly had a job? You don’t know about her circumstances, you can’t know what happened to land her in the situation she’s in today. My mother wasn’t married, but that’s because her partner committed suicide. So why don’t you grow up and learn there is no such thing as imaginary friends, much less judge you and damn you to hell for all eternity to live among the brimstone and ashes.
      Get off your high horse and see a head doctor about your little man in the sky.

  • GARY BARBER

    so if she had terminated her pregnancy then all would be fine cuz the uppity church people could not be drug down by having an unwed pregnant employee i wonder which choice god would have wanted her to take ?
    maybe we will see this pastor in the news in the future