Pastor Michael R. Jordan isn't afraid to put bold statements on the sign at New Era Baptist Church.
Jordan has plastered phrases like “AIDS is God’s curse on a homosexual life," “Trump deceived poor white folks" and “George Zimmerman jury supported white racism" on the church sign in Birmingham, Alabama, according to The Root.
His latest sign led Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin to decry "a spirit of racism and division" that Woodfin said still remains in the city.
Its message? One side reads "Black Folks Need to Stay Out of White Churches" — and the other says "White Folks Refused to Be Our Neighbors."
In an interview with AL.com, Jordan, who is black, defended the sign, which he said is in response to a new branch of the Church of the Highlands opening up in his neighborhood. He called the new place of worship, which will have a black pastor, a "slavemaster church."
"I call it plantation religion, slavemaster religion," he said. "The white rich folks start a church and put a black pastor in charge of it."
Chris Hodges, the founding pastor of the Church of Highlands, said he wants to find a "high-crime" part of Birmingham to start a new branch of his church, AL.com reported. But Jordan said that is hypocritical when considering past exchanges between whites and blacks in the predominately black area.
"Because of white flight and societal change where whites left the city, they did not want to be our neighbors, did not want their kids to go to school with our children," Jordan said. "They left the churches too. They sold the churches to us. White folks don't want to be our neighbors. If you don't want to be our neighbor, why do you feel comfortable putting a white church in the inner city?"
In a Facebook status, Birmingham mayor Woodfin wrote that he hopes the situation can spark a larger conversation about how the city can move forward.
"We have to change the conversation to what we need it to evolve into," he wrote. “'Darkness can not drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.' #rejecthate #elevatetheconversation"
Some residents, including 16-year-old Keagan Edwards, told WSFA that the sign should be taken down.
"I really think it shouldn't be up there," he said. "I wouldn't have a problem going to a predominately white church because everyone's not racist and you've got to give somebody a chance."
But William Summerville suggested that perhaps a positive change could come from the sign's bold message, which he still disagrees with.
"It can bring a lot of people closer together because everybody is going to come together and start expressing their feelings," he told WSFA, "and everybody can get on the same level and everybody can be happy."
But Jordan — who said "this last election revealed the major hypocrisy of the white institutional church" — isn't budging from his position.
"The Bible says love your neighbor as yourself," he told AL.com. "If you don't want to live next door to me, and be my neighbor, why do you want to come over and plant a church in my neighborhood?"
This article was written by cool news network.