A church in Florida, USA has refused to hold a funeral for a man after discovering he was gay.
The New Hope Missionary Baptist Church cancelled a service meant to honour Julion Evans’ memory after the pastor found out that Evans had been married to another man.
Although Pastor T.W. Jenkins’ action provoked the ire of the deceased man’s mother, Julie Atwood, and other members of the community, he called off the service the day before it was scheduled regardless.
In fact, Atwood received the news during her son’s wake. She says: It was devastating. I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death.
When pressed about his exclusionary decision, pastor Jenkins said: 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.
Atwood was however able to find a place to hold the funeral service in time, but obviously, the whole experience was scarring for the grieving mother.