Vile pastor sabotages gay man’s funeral
Baptist pastor T W Jenkins refused to conduct a planned service after discovering that the dead man was homosexual.
Jenkins, who heads the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida, canceled the service for Julion Evans, pictured above left with his husband Kendall Capers, after several members members of his congregation complained.
Capers said they had seen his obituary in newspapers which identified Capers as his husband.
Capers said the pastor told the family that to conduct a funeral for a gay man would be “blasphemous”. The grieving spouse asked:
We can’t even have a dignified service like the next person could? This is 2014, and we’re still going through this.
The pastor said in an interview:
Based on our preaching of the Scripture, we would have been in error to allow the service in our church. 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.
Jenkins has been the head pastor of the Tampa church since 1995, according to the church website. In March, he delivered the opening invocation at Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s annual state of the city address.
The church is described on its website as a “Christ centered” and “biblically based” place of worship. It offers ministries:
Open to visitors searching for a spirit-filled place to call home.
Evans, 42, died July 26 after a four-year battle with amyloidosis, an illness that claimed the lives of his father and brother.
He and Capers had been together for 17 years. They married last year in Maryland. Capers said his partner was kind, generous and supportive.
According to his obituary, Julion Evans was a Tampa native. He graduated from Hillsborough High School, where he was editor of the school paper, a member of the drama club and the school mascot.
His family arranged to have the funeral at New Hope Missionary Baptist to accommodate the sizable crowd expected.
The church agreed, Capers said. Then the obituary hit the papers. Then came the calls to the pastor.
Jenkins notified the family of the cancellation as they were attending Evans’ wake at Blount & Curry Funeral Home in Oldsmar. Capers said:
Immediately I jumped out of grieving husband mode and launched into disaster recovery mode.
Capers got in touch with Blount & Curry managers and requested space for a funeral the next day.
Said Debra Blanchette, a funeral director for Blount & Curry.
We were more than glad to accommodate them. The service went real well.
Last Saturday, more than 200 people attended the service.
Capers said he is thankful to have celebrated Evans’ life in a place with people who accepted them. He said he plans to start a foundation in Evans’ name to fund research for amyloidosis, an incurable disease that attacks bodily organs.
Hat tip: Canada Dave