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” As for the black man who has children with a white woman: “He don’t want them to look like him, so he’ll marry with another.” Lest this sound racist, Reagan adds helpfully, “Some of the finest people I ever met in my life was some of them colored people.” But this sermon isn’t from the bad old times; it was recorded just last year in Reagan’s 600-member Johnson City, Tenn., church. They may not all embrace the racial separation extolled by Reagan, but the Branham theology invites racism, says James Walker, president of The Watchman Fellowship, an Arlington, Texas, evangelical ministry that researches cults and new religious movements. He preached that original sin stemmed not from Eve biting the fruit and gaining knowledge but, instead, from her sexual intercourse with the serpent, which resulted in the birth of Cain.What’s more, the pastor is not unique in translating the theology of William Branham, a breakaway Pentecostal religious leader, into a “no-exceptions” Biblical ban on interracial marriage. This led, through the bloodline of Cain, Noah and Ham, to a race of human beings who were descended from the evil serpent. Actually, Branham never quite said, notes Walker, author of The Concise Guide to Today’s Religions and Spirituality (Harvest House).

The resolution says anyone is welcome to attend services, but interracial couples could not become members or be "used in worship services or other church functions." Stella Harville, a 24-year-old graduate student at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Indiana, called the vote "hurtful." "I think part of me is still in shock and trying to process what's been going on the past few days," she said.

"I really hope they overturn this." The church's pastor, Stacy Stepp, said Wednesday that he was against the resolution.

It’s a loose confederation, says Walker, with churches geographically scattered in places including Louisiana, Indiana and Arizona.

Branham is extolled as an apostle himself, practically a god, in these churches.

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We are engaged on the issue and committed to looking at options that support our full range of digital offerings to the EU market.Stacy Stepp, pastor of the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church in Pike County, told The Associated Press that the vote by nine people last week was declared null and void after it was determined that new bylaws can't run contrary to local, state or national laws.He said the proposal was discriminatory, therefore it couldn't be adopted.If you do your mixing, you can’t bring yourself back again,” he warns.Black women don’t want their children to be of mixed racial background, he insists.“But it’s not that far a stretch to begin to interpret it in a racist way.

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