Tampa church cancels funeral service of gay man

By : Staff Report
Comments: 7

Tampa – A Tampa mother received a phone call a day before her son’s funeral saying the service was cancelled after the pastor found out the deceased was gay.

Julie Atwood, Julion Evans’ mother,was told she could not have the funeral services at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church because it be “blasphemous.” 

Pastor T.W. Jenkins for New Hope said he did not know Evans,42,  was gay until he saw his obituary which listed a surviving “husband.” After members of the congregation saw and called to complain, Jenkins said he did not think it was acceptable to hold the funeral services at New Hope.

Kendall Capers, Evans’ husband and partner of 17 years, said their relationship was not a secret. The two were even married a year ago in Maryland.

“This is 2014, this is not the 60s or the 70s,” Capers said to WFLA News Channel 8. “So at the end of the day I just want his wrong-doing to be exposed.”

The funeral services were scheduled July 26. Due to the last-minute cancellation, Atwood and Capers tried to change the funeral location and to notify everyone who would attend of the new venue. Still, some mourners showed up at New Hope still and missed the funeral.

Capers said he wanted the funeral services at a church and would have understood the church’s position if they didn’t cancel it the day before, calling it a “disrespectful” and “wrong” decision.


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  • StevesWeb

    Gay bashing dead people for Jesus, I believe it is called Christianity.

    • james

      How nice of you to put all conservative christians who believe in the Bible in one category. I guess i must do the same with homosexuals and atheists….

      • MileHighJoe

        The Bible? In this case, I think you mean the Old Testament. And, yes, I do lump all people who have fetish with the Old Testament into the same group. The Old Testament supports slavery. And selling your daughter. And stoning people to death. And not eating shrimp, among other things.

        To rely upon the Old Testament to deny tax-paying Americans the right to a marriage license from city hall is insane.

      • spiritubrianus

        James, I think you who are conservative Christians need to rethink your theology on this one. How exactly do the actions of this so called pastor help anyone involved? It is obvious to all that his actions were cruel and heartless. There is no doubt that this church has lost the presence of the Holy Spirit. He needs to reflect on what he is doing because on this one he screwed up big time.

  • james

    Ten to one he died of Aids…..

    • MileHighJoe

      No, he didn’t.

      “The 42-year-old succumbed to a rare disease called amyloidosis, which destroyed his organs, WFLA notes.”

  • ScottInClearwater

    Don’t get mad. Get even. Anyone have a spare coffin? We should hold a demonstation and their Sunday service and dump a coffin on their front steps.