Pastor under fire over church sign: ‘Black folks need to stay out of white churches’

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- An Alabama pastor is under fire over a church sign telling "black folks" to stay away from white churches, WBRC reports.

Michael R. Jordan is the pastor at New Era Baptist Church in Birmingham.

A sign recently posted in the church's yard says, "Black folks need to stay out of white churches." On the other side, it says: "White folks refused to be our neighbors."

Jordan said God told him to put up the sign after he found out Alabama's largest church, Church of the Highlands, plans to plant a campus in a high-crime part of the city.

"Putting that church in West End, you're bringing white spirituality in a black environment," Jordan told AL.com. "Our music is different. Our experiences are different. We're more active in worship."

Birmingham's mayor, Randal Woodfin, took to Facebook on Tuesday to release a statement on the sign and its message.

The post said, "There is a spirit that is over this city that has to be brought down. A spirit of racism and division. We have to change the conversation to what we need it to evolve into. Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."