”Go to hell.”
At least that is where Lashanda Matlock would like her pastor father to go.
In a heart-wrenching and equally scathing open letter to her preacher father, Bill Adkins, Matlock outlines the pain he caused over what she claims was his absentee dad status in her life. She says she grew up as an upper middle class southern girl in Memphis, Tenn., just five blocks away from her father’s Greater Imani Church, but he never cared to see her.
At 6-years-old, Matlock says her mother received a cease and desist order from Adkins requesting that she stop trying to communicate with him. However, Matlock says Adkins would visit her elementary school but never approached her, preferring to watch “from the shadows.”
The consistent rejection was something that hurt her dearly:
By age ten, I was a figment of my own imagination. I didn’t exist, my last name was a lie and all records of me were buried in a black hole.
I learned to cope due to a wonderful mother and extended family who always made me smile. I never wanted or went without anything, even a pair of designer Salvatore Ferrragamo heels for my 13th birthday. I had a good childhood, but the lies kept piling upon one after another.
As I reached into my teens my face became the exact image of a man I never knew. I met other illegitimate siblings whose stories were all the same. Rumors spread and I became a topic at dinner parties and for bored housewives. I never wanted the attention, only to be a part of his life. To have a dad like everyone else, and like any child, to have a father’s love.
NewsOne reached out to Matlock, now 33-years-old, for comment, but she declined to be interviewed for this article. WATN 24 in Memphis interviewed Adkins about his daughter’s harsh words and denied having her out of wedlock.
“First of all, I was not married. She’s 33 years old and that was 1979. I was not married. I was not a pastor of a church. I was a Radio Announcer at WLOK Radio,” said Adkins.