Why this 103-year-old woman was banned from church
It's easy to see that faith plays a big part in Genora Hamm Biggs' life. The 103-year-old told WHNS that she reads her bible daily.
The grandmother said "it was not a good feeling" when she got a letter in the mail from members of the Union Grove Baptist Church in Elberton, Georgia, stating:
Also banned from the church was her grandson Elliot Dye, and Kevin Hamm, who was also an ordained minister.
Dear Mrs. Genora Hamm Biggs,
This letter is to inform you that according to the by-laws of the Union Grove Baptist Church, and by vote of the active members, any membership or associations that you have had with this church are now officially revoked. Therefore, you cannot attend Union Grove Baptist Church for any reason whatsoever. You are not to come to the property of the Union Grove Baptist Church located at 680 Pulliam Street, Elberton, Georgia 30635.
The members and officers of the Union Grove Baptist Church.
Hamm Biggs said Union Grove Baptist Church was the only house of worship she's known to since she became a member 92 years ago when she was 11 years old.
Deciding she would not give up after receiving the Aug. 2 letter, Hamm Biggs returned to church the next Sunday only for someone in the congregation to call the police on her.
The 103-year-old believes the reason she was banned is because she spoke out about the church's pastor, Rev. Tim Maddox.
"He told police he wanted to put us out, but the police told him 'you can't do that,'" she added.
Elberton Police Chief Mark Welsh told the Athens Banner-Herald that this is a civil issue and not a criminal one. He said the grandmother is a revered person in town.
The grandmother told WHNS that not only is the pastor not following the covenant of the Baptist Church, he is trying to change the denomination to a Holiness Church.
Although the letter sent to her was signed by other members of the church, the former first-grade teacher has some support in the community. Former member Ezell Land said the entire situation is "not right."
Ezell, who used to work as a deacon at the church, also said Hamm Biggs' family founded the church. Her name is even etched on the side of the church.
Ezell left after 45 years because of differences with the pastor as well.
"Every time I would get up, the pastor would get up and make remarks when I sang and stuff. So, I just got my hat and I left," he told the news station.
In the end, all Hamm Biggs said she wants is to "get my church straight like it has been."
If you think that's crazy, watch this video about how a white church banned this black couple from getting married:
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