Local pastor receives letter insulting church's stance on removal of Confederate statues

by: Jeremy Pierre Updated:

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Memphis pastor was sent a letter insulting his church and leadership for their stance on wanting the Nathan Bedford Forest monument removed from Health Sciences Park.

Senior Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, J. Lawrence Turner, got a message from an unknown person.

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The message mailed to his office described his congregation as bitter and filled with hatred, and it urged the pastor to read an article on Nathan Bedford Forrest.

"It mischaracterized our church as bitter and hatred. Mississippi Boulevard has not only been a church that has preached love and we have displayed love to this community,” Turner said.

Reverend Turner was in on a meeting with Mayor Jim Strickland where several other pastors and community leaders several weeks ago.

The basis of the meeting was the removal of the Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis monuments from public parks.

"I thought if they really honored or respected the conversation, they would invite me to dialogue about it,” Turner said.

The letter didn’t have a return address.

Reverend Turner told FOX13 he questions the facts in the article.

"I'm not sure where this came from. There are no sources as to where this came as well as no references any historian would be able to provide,” Turner said.

The pastor said after receiving this letter, the doors to his church are open to the person or people who sent the letter so that a conversation can begin.

"We're not saying trash the monument. We're saying put it in a place that is more befitting, like a Confederate battle field,” Turner said.

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