White Oklahoma pastor is sacked after photos of him black-faced in church resurface — defending himself by saying he was ‘dressed up like Ray Charles’ at a themed youth night
- Sherman Jaquess is the pastor of the Matoaka Baptist Church in Ochelata
- Blackface and Native American clothing photos of Jaquess resurfaced online
- He has defended himself by claiming he was acting as Ray Charles
A white Oklahoma Baptist preacher is on the defensive after photos of him with a black face and in Native American makeup at a 2017 church event resurfaced.
Sherman Jaquess, the pastor of Matoaka Baptist Church in the town of Ochelata, posted the photos himself on Feb. 10, 2017.
The photos came back to the public on Wednesday when someone discovered and reposted them, naming them Jacques and his parish.
Jaquess wears extremely dark black makeup with red lipstick and an afro wig, as well as dark sunglasses. The preacher is playing a keyboard in a beige suit with a purple shirt.
The preacher, who records all his sermons and posts them on Facebook, defended himself last week by saying he was doing it for a youth evening at the parish.
Sherman Jaquess, a white Baptist minister from Oklahoma, is on the defensive after photos of him blackfaced and in Native American makeup at a 2017 church event resurfaced
“I just want to say publicly that I don’t have a racial bone in my body. I’m not racist at all,” he said. “There was nothing racist about it.”
“I sang Ray Charles, Seven Spanish Angels and I said, ‘I like Ray Charles music,'” Jaquess added. “How can you portray Ray Charles if you’re not a black man?”
More photos have surfaced showing Jaquess – in drag – also in Native American outfits and makeup.
Despite his own flair for costumes, Jaquess is conservative and has spoken out against drag performances in recent years, according to Fox 23.
Rural Oklahoma Pride is one of several organizations speaking out against Jacques’ blackface.
“We at Rural Oklahoma Pride have reviewed the footage of the incident of what happened at Matoaka Baptist Church and cannot comprehend the amount of grief and anger Pastor Sherman Jaquess has inflicted on the people of Bartlesville, Oklahoma,” they said in a statement.
“We believe this pastor should lead and direct acceptable, respectful and appropriate activities for his congregation to participate in, not activities that are discriminatory. We have seen racism and intolerance against people of different ethnic backgrounds.”
“This goes beyond thinking this is acceptable. Further, the “preacher” “preaches” against drag, the Oklahomans for Equality in Bartlesville added.
Jaquess, the pastor of Matoaka Baptist Church in the town of Ochelata, posted the photos herself on Feb. 10, 2017
Jaquess wears extremely dark black makeup with red lipstick and an afro wig, as well as dark sunglasses. The preacher is playing a keyboard in a beige suit with a purple shirt
In another photo, he can be seen wearing Native American make-up and women’s clothing. Jaquess has argued that he doesn’t do a drag performance
Jacques tries to defend himself in the video.
“One night we had cowboy and Indian night. I was wearing a whole Indian dress. I had a wig braided. That was not a transvestite performance, but a themed night in Falls Creek and I was fully clothed and did nothing sexual or lewd. That was a themed night in Falls Creek,” he said.
Ironically, Matoaka is named after the private name of the famous Native American Pocahontas.
Jacques has not yet commented on the controversy.