BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A white mega-church plans to open a branch in one of Birmingham, Alabama's poor neighborhoods and a black pastor there is not amused. He used the sign outside his church to proclaim: "Black folks need to stay out of white churches."
The flipside of the sign reminds anyone who's forgotten that "White folks refused to be our neighbors."
The controversy was sparked by the decision by the 40,000-member Church of the Highlands to hire a black pastor and create a branch in a high crime neighborhood.
Reverend Michael Jordan, who put up the signs, derides the effort as plantation religion.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin has entered the fray saying there's a spirit of racism and division over the city that has to be brought down.
"We have to change the conversation," the mayor said.