John M. Becker

Pastor Who Canceled Gay Man's Funeral Defends His Actions

Filed By John M. Becker | August 11, 2014 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living
Tags: Baptist Church, Christian love, Florida, funerals, Julion Evans, obituary, shameful, spiritual bullying, T.W. Jenkins

tw-jenkins-tampa.pngLast week, the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa, Florida made headlines last week when its pastor, Rev. T.W. Jenkins, canceled Julion Evans's funeral after finding out that Evans was gay and married to another man.

As if that weren't unconscionable enough, Jenkins made the cancelation less than 24 hours before the funeral was scheduled to take place... by calling Evans's mother during son's wake. She was standing beside his body when Jenkins called. The story generated shock and outrage across the nation.

Local CBS affiliate WTSP-TV visited the church last weekend, and according to their report, Pastor Jenkins is unrepentant, standing by his actions and claiming that they are in line with the "word of God":

10 News was the only station to see that pastor preach today in Tampa and he's sticking by his word. "Our trials come to make us strong," said Reverend T.W. Jenkins, pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa...

Sunday, 10 News went to Jenkins' service to ask him about what happened. For the first 40 minutes of the service, we weren't even allowed in the building. A representative told us church announcements were being made. When were were finally allowed inside, Jenkins was thanking his congregation for prayers over the past few days.

"My family is doing fine," he said to claps from the audience. "Church family please remain focused and prayerful ... and we will continue to stand on the word of God."

Jenkins's family may be "doing fine," but Julion Evans's family is still struggling, thanks to Jenkins's abominable mistreatment of their loved one.

"I know he's not here, but I haven't had a chance to grieve because of this," Evans's widow Kendall Capers told WTSP. "[Julion] was my best friend, and he's not here anymore."

Watch a video report from WTSP, after the break.

New Hope Missionary Baptist Church's un-Christian actions earned such an overwhelming backlash that they took down their Facebook page and at one point even removed their contact information their website. (It's currently showing up in my browser.) But they can't censor Google -- the church's address is 3005 E Ellicott St, Tampa, FL; and you can reach them by phone at (813) 236-3611.

h/t: The New Civil Rights Movement.

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