Talk a bout a tragedy of errors! A church pastor didn’t know the deceased man was gay until being informed by angry parishioners, after he agreed to holding a funeral.
The gay man’s mother didn’t know the church was unaccepting of gays until the pastor called the whole thing off.
Some of the guests didn’t know the funeral had moved until they arrived at the church.
Oh, brother, where art thou!
Julie Atwood, [of Tampa, FL]told WFLA-TV the pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church called her the day before her son’s funeral, during the actual wake, to say it could not be held at the church because it would be “blasphemous.”
“It was devastating,” she said. “I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death.”
Atwood said she has family ties to New Hope and also needed the large space to accommodate the hundreds of expected mourners for Julion Evans.
He died at age 42 after battling Amyloidosis for 4 years. His husband, Kendall Capers, says they were partners for 17 years and got married last year in Maryland.
T.W. Jenkins, pastor at New Hope told WFLA-TV that he did not know Evans was gay until members of his congregation saw the obituary and called to complain.
“Based on our preaching of the scripture, we would have been in error to allow the service in our church,” Jenkins said. “I’m not trying to condemn anyone’s lifestyle, but at the same time, I am a man of God, and I have to stand up for my principles.”
The family was able to make alternate arrangements at the last minute, but not all the guests were informed of the changes and some only found out about the cancellation when they showed up at New Hope for the funeral.
This fiasco shouldn’t be all that surprising, really. It’s what happens when you don’t actually attend church, but you rely on the ‘Pick A Church, Any Church’ method of choosing one for your dear, departed son’s funeral. You have a general ignorance of scripture, church doctrine and funeral protocol. You also don’t personally get acquainted with the pastor when you don’t actually attend church, or you would know of his abhorrence for homosexuality.
There’s a morale to this story. Have you guessed it?
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