A Virginia woman was fired from a church daycare this week after being warned that she was in violation of the employee handbook for being pregnant and not married.
Apryl Kellam of Henrico County has worked for the daycare at Staples Mill Road Baptist Church since September. In October, she was told that she and her fiance James Coalson were to get married or at least announce a wedding date by this week in order to keep her job; the two are expecting a baby due in April.
Fox 13 reports that being unwed and pregnant is in violation of the church’s employee handbook.
Kellam said, “It hurts because I’ve grown up in a Christian home and Christian church my whole life.”
The couple says that they want to get married when it is the right time for their family.
“I want to wait so we can have all our family and friends there and have a big wedding. I just don’t want to go to the courthouse and have someone marry us,” Kellam said.
Pastor James Booth said that Kellam’s dismissal is a confidential personnel matter and the church should not be judged for its decision.
“People are calling us judgmental, but that’s judgmental, to say we’re being judgmental when they don’t know us,” Booth said. “They don’t know our heart. We’re not trying to be hurtful, we’re just following our personnel handbook which is rooted in our statement of faith and our biblical beliefs.”
Fox 13 reports that Kellam had been an exceptional employee to the church. She had received a positive job review last Thursday and was offered a raise.
Kellam and Coalson are now considering legal action against Staples Mill Road Baptist, though the church maintains firing Kellam was within its legal rights.
Publication date: January 14, 2015