Methodist Reverend REFUSES to Baptize Baby Because Her Parents Are Not Married

A young couple in Mississippi wanted their new baby to be baptized at their church, but said the reverend sent them a letter refusing to perform the sacred ceremony because they were not married and ‘living in sin.’

Kamri Mclendon, 18, and her boyfriend of two years, Tristan Mcphail, are parents to daughter Presleigh, who was born in May. 

Mclendon had been attending Hickory Grove United Methodist Church in Sumrall, Mississippi since she was young and wanted her own daughter to be baptized there.

But in a letter the young mother shared on Facebook, Rev. Dewayne Warren wrote that he would not be performing the baptism because the baby was born out of wedlock and that Mclendon and ‘the baby’s father’ were living together ‘in sin.’

He also pointed out that Mclendon’s mother was also not married, yet living with a man, and that the couple were not in regular attendance at the church.

Mclendon, who shared the letter on Facebook, explained they had missed some church services because of their schedule with a new baby.  

She added that she felt ‘shamed’ by the church she grew up in and wrote: ‘Instances like this are why young people are scared to go to church. We are aware we sinned, but us repenting for that is between us and the Lord, not to be shamed by a church,’ Mclendon wrote. 

‘When people ask why there are no young people in these churches this is why.’ 

‘I will be the first to admit that yes I have sinned and have done wrong in my life,’ she wrote. ‘How did me trying to dedicate my daughter to Jesus turn into us being shamed for being young parents and unmarried?’ 

The letter, which was dated September 15, also stated that if Warren were to perform the infant baptism, it would set a bad example for the youth and children of the church.

‘I am informed that you and the baby’s father are living together in sin; the baby was conceived before the parents were married,’ the letter began. 

‘It would be saying to them that the lifestyle that you are living is OK for a Christian. That is not so.’

Mclendon and her boyfriend told WLBT that they were shocked by the letter, after they were initially told that Warren would perform the baptism for their daughter. 

‘He knew all of the information of us not being married, all of that,’ Mclendon said. ‘And he agreed to it. He was like, “Yeah, that works.” His wife sent us the material of what would need to be said at the service. He even announced it to the congregation. My grandmother and my aunt and uncle were all there. And then he sent us that letter.’ 

In a post, Mclendon wrote that they had requested a ‘baby dedication’ for their daughter and were told yes. The ceremony was even announced at the church. 

But then received the letter that they do not perform ‘baby dedications’ but instead baptisms, which are a covenant with God.

‘Like, we know what the Bible says,’ she said. ‘We did, in fact, sin. But he knew all of that and he still agreed to it. If he had been straightforward from the get-go, this wouldn’t have been a problem with either of us.’ 

Mclendon then shared an update that a district superintendent for the Methodist church had spoken with the reverend and ‘rectified the situation.’

But she said the words from the letter still affected her.

‘My heart is breaking,’ she wrote. 

Original Article

9 thoughts on “Methodist Reverend REFUSES to Baptize Baby Because Her Parents Are Not Married

  1. This reverend have it all wrong. No baby is guilty of the sins of their parents and if those parents want baptism for their child, they should get it.
    On the other hand, the belief that a baby needs a baptism to be cleaned from sins is outdated and wrong, but disregarding what you personally believe , you should respect people’s faith.

    1. You are correct saying that the child is innocent; however, the children have ALWAYS paid for the sins of the parents.

  2. There is no evidence in the Bible that babies or young children were ever baptized. Baptism at the time was a proclamation of your faith in Christ, which no baby can ever have. Many people who were baptized as babies never followed Christ nor became saved, so early baptism is not a guarantee of salvation. Perhaps churches should abandon the practice altogether, and only baptize believers after they accept the Lord as their Savior. Since many infant baptisms may be no more than a “feel good” action taken by the parent or parents, perhaps waiting until the child accepts Christ might be the better choice. It would prevent incidents such as the one in this article, and parents, pastors, and the congregation would know that the child is saved, rather than might be saved in a future time.

    1. We are all born into sin. That being true, we all face the consequence of sin…which is death.
      The Baptism is and always has been reserved for new Believers. From the earliest Biblical texts this has been true. Both in tradition and in practice.

      it is a testimonial act that declares that person’s new life in Jesus to the rest of the church body.

      anything more than this has been added by people that obviously believe that they know better than those that established the practice millenia ago.
      and thereby they know better than the Lord that brought the practice to the Patriarchs.

  3. A forward looking WOKE church. Punishing a baby for the parents. Sounds like my kind of hypocritical ideal church.

  4. I had a very similar experience back in 2002 in our parish in the Columbus, Ohio diocese. When I asked out then pastor if I could have our infant granddaughter baptize there, he refused because although my daughter and her husband were married and received the sacraments when they were children, neither of them attended church any longer. I told the pastor my wife and would make certain our granddaughter was raised in the faith but he still said no. Most shocking to me was when I mentioned I was raised to believe we’re all born with original sin and through baptism infants have that removed so how could he not perform that important sacrament on an innocent child to bring her into the faith. His response was the same, that he would not baptize a child who’s parents were not practicing Catholics because of the risk of not raising the child in the faith. After that discussion my wife left that church for another Catholic parish closer to our home. I still worship at that same original parish (leading the rosary before mass every Sunday), and that pastor has long since been transferred to different parishes as part of the diocese normal priest reassignments every few years. I’m so happy he is no longer that as it seemed like his focus was always about him and not the congregation (I was told by several people who knew him prior to his ordination that he was a single child very spoiled by his mom, so maybe that points to his individualism). I will say he delivered great sermons each week, I just wish he had as much compassion and commitment to the needs of those he served and he did to preparing his sermons.

  5. Had I been that pastor, I would have promised to baptize the baby after the parents were married – and offered to marry them in the church, as well.

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