Single, pregnant mother fired from church for not being married

(Photo: Wikimedia/Ken Hammond)

A single, pregnant mother is considering legal action after apparently being fired from her job at a Virginia baptist church.

Apryl Kellam is engaged to her fiancé, James Coalson, but church leaders allegedly demanded she get married after falling pregnant.

Kellam began working at Staples Mill Road Baptist Church in September, but claimed she never received or signed a copy of the employee handbook. 

The handbook allegedly said that church daycare employees must be married, although Kellam insisted she never hid her personal life.

"When she hired me in September she knew that I had a child out of wedlock and I was living with the guy I was going to marry," she explained.

Kellam said she received warnings that she would be fired if she didn't get married or at least set a wedding date, but also received a glowing employee review two weeks ago.

"She had nothing but nice things to say, but then when we got to the end she asked about the marriage," Kellam recounted. "It hurts. It really hurts my feelings."

The single mum said she will get remarried when the time is right.

"I want to wait so we can have all our family and friends there and have a big wedding," she said. "I just don't want to go to the courthouse and have someone marry us."

Kellam received a phone call on Monday informing her that she was fired. Church pastor James Booth defended the termination.

"People are calling us judgmental, but that's judgmental, to say we're being judgmental when they don't know us," he 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."

Kellam disagreed with the church's reasoning.

"The only one who can judge me is God himself," she said.