State Rep. Dismukes resigns from church following Nathan Bedford Forrest backlash
State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) on Wednesday resigned from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, where he was serving as an Alabama Baptist bivocational pastor.
The resignation, first announced by The Alabama Baptist, comes in the wake of Dismukes attending a celebration of Nathan Bedford Forrest, who was a Confederate general and the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Alabama Baptist is an official entity of the Alabama Baptist State Convention. The publication explained that the resignation came following a meeting that included church deacons and Mel Johnson, lead mission strategist for the Autauga Baptist Association.
“Immediate effort was made to connect with Will on behalf of our leadership with commitment toward a biblically based process to mitigate controversy surrounding this issue,” Johnson advised, according to The Alabama Baptist. “He was open and receptive to our call and subsequent in-person meeting on Tuesday afternoon.”
“Scripture is clear that all people are created in God’s image and therefore equal in every way before Christ and our personal need of Him as Savior and Lord,” Johnson said.
In addition to the celebration itself, Dismukes has drawn intense criticism from both sides of the aisle for the statement he first released on Monday, as well as a follow-up interview later that day with WSFA.
After that television interview aired, State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) called on Dismukes to resign from the legislature. Chambliss is a constituent of Dismukes’ (and vice-versa).
Reacting to the news on Wednesday evening that Dismukes had resigned from his church, State Rep. Merika Coleman (D-Birmingham) reiterated calls for Dismukes to relinquish his seat in the Alabama House of Representatives.
— Rep. Merika Coleman (@RepColeman) July 30, 2020
Dismukes told WSFA on Tuesday that he has no plans to resign from the legislature.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn