A member of the state of Alabama who filed an invocation during a birthday celebration for Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general who was the first grand charmer of the Ku Klux Klan, resigned from the church where there is a pastor, officials said. Thursday.
Rep. Will Dismukes, of Prattville, descended from Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, where he was a bivocational pastor, according to Mel Johnson, a key mission strategist for the church association.
Dismukes said Thursday on Facebook that he resigned “not at the request of the church but by choice” because he did not want to see Pleasant Hill voted out of the scholarship, NBC affiliate WSFA reported. The post did not appear on the Dismukes page on Thursday evening.
Rejection did not respond to requests for comment.
Dismukes faced ongoing criticism over his appearance at Saturday’s annual event at “Fort Dixie,” Selma’s private wife’s home, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“He spent a lot of time at Fort Dixie talking and giving the invocation for Nathan Bedford Forrest’s birthday celebration,” he wrote in a post on Facebook that was later removed, according to the WFSA. “Always very good and some food good enough !!”
The appearance of denials occurred a day before the civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis was passed over the Selma Edmund Pettis Bridge, where he was nearly killed 55 years ago during a voting rights march.
On Monday, Alabama Republican Party President Terry Lathan called Dismukes’ actions “deeply offensive.”
“It is one thing to honor one’s southern heritage, however, it is a completely different issue that specifically reminds the leader of an organization with an indisputable history of insensitive actions and atrocities towards African-Americans,” he said in a statement.
“Today’s Alabama was a full and honorable show as we demanded a humble tribute this weekend to the life of Congressman John Lewis,” Lathan added. “This is Alabama that we are proud to show the nation and the world that we are one in the common goals of equality for all our citizens.”
In an interview with WFSA on Monday, Dismukes blamed responsibility on “anti-Southern sentiment.”
“It wasn’t some kind of shot in the path of Representative John Lewis,” Dismukes said. “I mean it didn’t even go through my mind, it was literally just just reflecting on the events of the previous day and it was taken in a completely different way that I didn’t see exactly what was coming and I take responsibility for that.”
He told the station that he has no plans to resign from the state Legislature.