An African American pastor of a Charlotte, N.C. church came under fire recently for requesting white only greeters at the front doors of the church.

Pastor Makeda of Freedom House Church sent an email blast to the members of his church asking black members not to serve as greeters on Sunday mornings at the 9 a.m. service, the Atlanta journal Constitution reports.

The dreadlocked pastor made the unusual request to attract more Caucasian members to the church. In the email, Makeda wrote “first impressions count,” and she wanted only “the best of the best on the front doors.”

From the AJC.com:

Some members of Freedom House Church in north Charlotte expressed outrage after receiving an email from their pastor Makeda Pennycooke asking people of color not to serve as greeters at the 9 a.m. services, according to a report in huffingtonpost.com.

Pennycooke, an African-American, said in the email that “first impressions matter” and that the congregation wanted “the best of the best on the front doors,” according to the report. “So we would like to ask that only white people be on the front doors,” the email reportedly said.

According to a WBTV report, members angered by the email said the pastor of the diverse congregation hoped white greeters would attract more white members.

After the firestorm, the pastor and church leadership apologized for the email.