Florida Church Cancels Man’s Funeral During Wake After Realizing He Was Gay

Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 12.28.41 PMA pastor at Tampa’s New Hope Missionary Baptist Church became a hot contender for Worst Person Ever this week, calling a mother attending her deceased gay son’s funeral to let her know that the services were being abruptly canceled.

The church’s reason? The deceased, 42-year-old Julion Evans, was gay.

Evans’ mother Julie Atwood tells WFLA that a New Hope Missionary pastor informed her that the church preaches “against homosexuality” and that it would be “blasphemous” to continue her son’s funeral services. They planned to immediately remove his body from the church and provided no assistance in finding a new venue.

According to reports, the church learned Evans was gay after an obituary that named his surviving husband of 17 years ran in a local paper. “Everyone who knew us knew about our relationship,” Evans’ husband Kendall Capers told the news. “We didn’t keep secrets.”

T.W. Jenkins, a pastor at New Hope, says the “problem” was reported to him by members of the congregation who called to complain. He issued the following statement:

“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.”

According to Capers, the family was able to find a last-minute venue to host a new wake, but several family members who were not informed arrived for the wake at New Hope. They missed the funeral.

“This is 2014, this is not the 60s or the 70s,” Capers said. “So at the end of the day I just want his wrong-doing to be exposed.”

WFLA News Channel 8

h/t Gawker

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  • unclemike

    Aaaah, christian love. Ain’t nothing like it.

  • hyhybt

    @unclemike: This certainly is nothing like it.

  • Ihadtosayit

    Some of these church members need to look around and recognize that this can be them in the future…

  • TampaBayTed

    Bigotry follows us even to the grave.

  • sfbeast

    This pastor wouldn’t recognize christianity if it showed up on his doorstep and rang his bell.

  • alterego1980

    @sfbeast: American Mu$lim clerics say the same thing about radicals in their religion…It is a never ending cycle of violence and terror for anything different or perceived as such. They label you as an enemy. Even though there are more progressives in Protestant Christianity than other religions, no moderate branch of any religion is serious about rooting out radicalism and hatred of others. Why is this so?

  • Merv

    Christianity is a bigoted religion both in theory and practice. There is really no excuse for defending it. It’s too bad this man’s family ignored all the signs beforehand, but at least they know now.

  • DanielStevens

    Wow.. That´s really wrong. Just plain wrong.

    Did anyone else notice that the Headline at WFLA says
    “Family says Tampa church canceled funeral because son was gay” ?

    They didn´t just say it: It happened. It´s a fact !

    And then at the end of the video over at WFLA the female reporter (who sound really appalled and disgusted in the video inserts) sort of defends the pastor by saying “..and I could hear it in his voice.. he felt really bad…” (she puts on a face that says “awww, the poor man”), “it was still a very nice funeral…”

  • Xzamilio

    Yup… I am so glad I am an atheist, and this crap is why I have become anti-theist more and more. Amazing how difficult it is for some of these religious people to be decent people.

  • TheNewEnergyDude

    @DanielStevens: I didn’t like that, either. There’s no way to defend what this fucking shitbag did.

    I look forward to reading about his obituary…and then standing in front of his grave and relieving myself on it.

  • buffnightwing

    This is why the black community has higher rates of HIV. It’s the black churches and the hate they generate.

  • money718

    Well, if the church preaches against homosexuality…can’t fault the church. Either you believe in the nonsense all the way or not at all. Gays need to learn this.

  • Ihadtosayit

    @buffnightwing: you may have hit upon something…I think you should read this article…as a black gay atheist that has nothing to do with any religion the level of hypocrisy and need to conform is strong in the black community with the church being its center (in many cases)

    An except from the article:

    “The men reported high levels of psychological anguish, as well as having experienced a pressure to conform to gender and sexuality norms and a need to shield their sexuality and to prove their masculinity. This perfect storm of repression and distress fueled sexual behaviors that put them at risk for HIV—including having intercourse without a condom—and also made them less likely to engage in monogamous relationships.”


  • SteveDenver

    Christianity at its most predictable.
    I guess it’s safe to say it wasn’t the son’s or mother’s church: why the fakery?

  • Ridpathos

    @hyhybt: It’s exactly like Christian ‘love’. I’m tired of the Christian apologists with their “No True Scotsman” fallacies. If you don’t want Christians to be labeled as verified asshats, do something about your crew.

  • Scribe38

    If there is a hell I’m sure the preacher is going to have a seat there.

  • dbmyers

    @Ridpathos: While I agree with the principle of what you say: “do something about your crew”. I would be remiss, like you actually are, if I didn’t point out that there many “true christians” who are doing just that – speaking up and out about the abuses of their religion by fundamentalist haters who target LGBTQ persons with their bigotry in the name of christianity. I’ve seen their comments (the true christians) here and many other places. More of them need to be speaking out, but don’t condemn those who do and are doing so. Let’s separate the wheat from the chaff!

  • DickieJohnson

    Again, I ask: Why is it that “christians” do not know, or are not told, that Jesus did not say one word about same-sex ANYthing??? All the hate-filled bigoted “ministers” need to read the Gospels.

  • Tackle

    @buffnightwing: This is like what, the 50th time that a story with Blacks in it turns into the whole Black community. And this is NOT why the so-called Black community supposedly has an higher rate of HIV. First off the Black church has very little influence on the lives of most Blacks. Most Blacks, like most others are NOT regular church goers.

    Those of us who understand stats, and who have been researching and studying polls, stats, and numbers in regards to HIV/AIDS know that it is the “methology”
    the CDC and OTHER agencies to crunch and manipulate stats to make it seem like Blacks have the higest rate of HIV. Govt agencies get the majority of their health info from lower social economic health clinics and hospitals. Where the majority that go there to receive health care are Black & Latino. Yes all Doctors, health care facilities, clinics etc are rquired by law to report all cases of HIV/AIDS. But there is no law that states that the CDC or other agencies must accept or report as fact the information thats available.

    Example of the CDCs miss-information that is accepted as fact: and that is that 50% of Black women have herpes. Research of these numbers show that the stats were skewed. Blacks were (60% )of the study group, yet are (12.9% )of the US population. Whites were (20.6%) of the study group but are over (73%) of the US population. And study groups were predominantly ( low-income.) Besides the CDC clearly states what you accept as facts (Blacks have higher rates of HIV) to be ESTAMATES. Estamates are neither here nor there. They could be higher, or lower. Much lower. So why are you making a declaration like it’s a proven fact??

    Contrary to what @Ihadtosayit: believes, the only thing you hit upon is lie. And that link has got to be the most foolish,
    un-scientific thing I have seen. Just laughable. Out a country with around 45 million Blacks. Almost half men 22 million, and out of that , around 3% would be gay/bisexual. So a study of ONLY 35 gay/bisexual Black men, between 18-24, taken between 2001-2009 is a telling pont of how thousands of gay/bisexual men feel about themselves today? The same result can be gotten if you did this with 35 White gay Mormons, Catholics, Amish or Southern Baptist who are still struggling with there sexuality. However you would never see a stat where 35 or even 100 gay/Bi White men would be an example or telling point of how the rest think or feel about themselves.

  • Arkansas Razorback

    Sadly, they’d probably allow a murderer to be eulogized there. Some Christians think we are the lowest of the low.

  • Masc Pride

    Blacks would still hate gays even without their churches. Misery loves company. Some just hide behind Christianity. It’s really just poor character, ignorance and cowardice under the guise of “following religious beliefs”. Just look at all the rappers that can’t even finish a sentence without calling someone a faggot, and I highly doubt those guys are all that godly. They’re also angry that gays are progressing so much faster than them.

    @Tacky: It’s E-S-T-I-M-A-T-E. 2nd grade word. You did it like 4x. LOL

  • Tackle

    @Masc Pride: Hey masc4masc I can smell you a mile away. So it’s ESTIMATE. Who gives a [email protected] I always blow words up. But I sure as hell get my point across. And you stop acting like a 2nd grader. With your multiple post. Coward!!

  • Masc Pride (masc4masc)

    @Tacky: Not surprised. You people generally don’t seem to care much about grammar or education at all. Thanks for confirming. Yes, this is masc4masc. Same account, just changed the screen name. You didn’t catch anyone, LaSherlock. And you meant to say “multiple accounts”. Dummy!!

  • Tackle

    @Masc Pride (masc4masc): No. I ment to say what I did say. And you added masc4macs after you got called out clown. No surprise. And thanks for confirming what we all knew you to be. A [email protected], [email protected] defeated troll. Who is obsessed with Blacks. Coward.

  • Kangol

    This church is disgusting and the antithesis of what Christ stood for and exemplified in the New Testament.

  • Danny

    This is not Christianity. Though the religion has so much horrible history I do believe it is salvageable at least as a means of social support. The only problem is these people who don’t understand nature, god, the history of God and gods, religion, myth, history, and most importantly human nature. Why would a Christian refuse a funeral? This level of judgement and punishment is not supported by scripture. This is a serious “what would Jesus do” moment. I’m beginning to believe that scripture can be used to correct this mode of Christian extremism. How can a person living as Jesus would be so cruel? It doesn’t make sense. And I wish that Christians would stop blaming their religion, their bible, their family, their culture, or their god. These people know nothing about humanity and even less about God. So little that they believe they can speak for an all knowing all powerful DIETY? But if they actually looked around and studied the world and creatures they claim God created then they would easily come to a much different conclusion.

Comments are closed.