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What would you do if you were told your son’s funeral would be cancelled because he was gay?

A Tampa, Florida mom got the chiling phone call one day before her son was scheduled to be laid to rest.

According to

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -Julie Atwood was standing at her son’s casket when the phone rang. The church where her son’s funeral was scheduled to be held the next day decided to abruptly cancel the service, after the pastor learned the deceased was gay and his obituary listed a surviving “husband.”

Atwood said she was told it would be “blasphemous” to hold the services at the church because her son, Julion Evans, 42, was gay.

“It was devastating,” she said. “I did feel like he was being denied the dignity of death.”

Evans’ husband, Kendall Capers, says the pair were partners for 17 years and married last year in Maryland. Evans died at home after a 4-year battle with a rare illness called Amyloidosis, which destroys organs in the body.

He says the obituary named him as “husband,” and that their marriage was no secret.

“Everyone who knew us knew about our relationship,” he said. “We didn’t keep secrets.”

The family asked for Evans’ funeral to be held at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa.

Atwood, Evans’ mother, says she was baptized at the church as a child and several of her family members still attend. Atwood’s current pastor agreed to preach the funeral, but they needed a large church, like New Hope, to accommodate hundreds of mourners from across the country. New Hope agreed and the service was scheduled for July 26.

But when the obituary published in the local newspaper, everything changed.

T.W. Jenkins, pastor at New Hope says was not aware of that Evans had a husband or was gay until members of his congregation saw the obit and called to complain. They did not think it was right to have the funeral at their church.

Jenkins said his church preaches against gay marriage.

“Based on our preaching of the scripture, we would have been in error to allow the service in our church,” Jenkins said. “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.”

Because of the late change of plans, Evans’ family scrambled to make new funeral arrangements, with less than 24 hours to prepare. They were unable to notify everyone, though, and some mourners showed up at the church and missed the funeral.

Capers said that was the worst part. He wanted the funeral held in a church but said he would have understood the church’s position. But to cancel during his husband’s wake, he said, was “disrespectful” and “wrong.”

“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.”

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(Photo Source: WFLA)

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35 thoughts on “Florida Church Cancels Funeral Because Man Was Gay

  1. James R. on said:

    Remember: (Matthew 12:31) Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven men.

  2. Beverly Segers on said:


    • dangerous BlkMan on said:

      Fuck you Beverly. You call us names to make us feel guilty and keep us from telling the truth. at least we try. God knows nobody is perfect but at least we try. Not like you who has given up and trying to do right and you purposley seak to destroy us and lead us away from God. Fuck you. Fucking cave ape.

    • dangerous BlkMan on said:

      That term you re looking for is called a Diamondgrrl55. Or from where I am from it is called a fucking white bitch who pretends to be black to corrupt our minds and destroy our families.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        Actually I am black and I am not corrupting anyone’s mind. If you feel that way your faith must not be that strong. Were all grown and stick in out ways you can’t change someone else’s mind when they are stuck in their ways. As for the name calling this post is about god and church so why include profanity lol which goes back to religious ppl being filled with the most hate and hypocrites. Nice going lol

  3. James R. on said:

    The Pastor, shouldn’t have judge this man at a funeral, its not his place, the Judgment Seat of Christ is the place to be judged. We know its not righteous but the eulogy should have been done. Since family were still members of the church. God created this man, the book of the living and the book of life is opened in Heaven.

    • Kris Smith on said:

      No matter what you all think, the pastor was not wrong. The family hid that fact from the pastor – probably on purpose because they knew he wouldn’t perform the funeral. Christians live for God – not for the world.

      The Bible doesn’t speak of homosexuality very often; but when it does, it condemns it as sin.

      Lev. 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”1

      Lev. 20:13, If a man also lie with mankind as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death: their blood shall be upon them.

      1 Cor. 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, (10) nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

      Rom. 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, ( 27) and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. (28) And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

      God clearly condemns homosexuality in the Bible. I rather do and obey what God says instead of what people say or think. The only way to get to Heaven is to follow God’s way and not what people think or feel.

  4. Dangerous BlkMan on said:

    He chose to live his live having sex with other men the way his white master taught him. so he made his own bed. now he gets to rot in it. The lords church is not obligated to do anything for someone who doesn’t follow Gods commandments. Screw him and all the white people that troll black websites. Whites you are not welcome here. Leave and stop screwing with black families.

    • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

      Why must we blame things on white ppl? He was not taught to be gay. You sound very ignorant. Are black ancestors would have never let none of that non sense come out their mouth. They loved all ppl no matter what color shape or size. You should rot for all the hate you have built inside. How does that sound? You don’t like that right? So why would you say that about another human being. His body is no more good but it’s not his soul so deep down it doesn’t matter what they do with his body.

      • Dangerous BlkMan on said:

        Diamond you are the ignorant one. You have bought into the white lie that gay people are born that way. Who you choose to have sex with is your choice. It might be influenced by your enviroment but you still have that choice. People choose to rape children. People choose to rape dogs. They are not born this way. They are just sick people. And this all started with white people. White people have been doing everything they could to destroy black families and for some reason people like you took the bait. See it for what it is. The white Gay community started that bullshit about being born that way so that they can take advantage of civil rights ligeslation.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        I’m trying not to laugh and take your opinion serious. You seriously think white ppl are the reason for ppl in our community being gay? Your wrong because white ppl and black and many other races speak poorly about gays. They speak with hate and anger against them like your doing now. Being that gay ppl are not treated kindly… Do you seriously believe someone would choose to be gay? I have meet children that were more feminine and girls that were more masculine at a young age and they grow up to be gay. So what do you say about that? It happens at a young age usually when a child is innocent and doesn’t believe it is wrong and you can’t beat it out of them or change their mind.

  5. Paul Cuddon on said:

    New Hope Missionary Church ….. New hope for what – a bigoted, hateful world. I assume T.W. Jenkins doesn’t pay taxes, and, therefore, scabs off of the government and hard working, tax paying citizens. You, asshole, do not determine your god’s will. My God would not deny anyone a place in his kingdom. You can take your god and shove it where the sun don’t shine!!!!!!

  6. If people would read their Bible, they would better understand and realize that both parties involved does not have scriptural behavior!
    Mathew 16:18
    Romans 16:16

    • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

      We all are responsible for a sin one day in out life. If you read your bible you would know that. Does that mean that we all should not be burried or have a service at a church? The biggiest hypocrites and ppl filled with hate can be those in church. All these men and women around here cheating on their spouses, having babies outside of marriage and sex… Do you suggest the church stand up for their faith with that as well?

      • I said it. on said:

        The Church is for sinners, but where do you go where it is preached that practicing sin is cool with God? If you know that it’s wrong for people to glorify the sins you mentioned, why don’t you speak up instead of trying to get a pass on one sin because of another. If the church is not calling people to a closer walk with Christ why go? I can hear people lie to me and agree with me anywhere. I don’t expect to have my ears tickled at church. I want to hear the Word of God. If that’s not happening, I can spend my time playing golf.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        I don’t go to church at the moment. I see ppl around me sinning but I’m not going to go up to each person and preach to them. That isn’t my job, if I see my friends doing wrong I give my advice when it’s asked. I’m not going to preach to them about their sins. They have a bible to read and in the end only God can judge them. Your points do not matter because all I’m saying is if the church feels the need not to burry a gay man. The church should not burry anyone because we are all guilty of sin. Only God can judge this man when the time comes. Lay him to rest and let it be. I’m not saying the church has to agree with his life style but don’t refuse to burry him because of his sexual orientation. That ain’t right and God represents love. What the church decided last minute was not love but hate. If I were the mother I would leave that church because at her time of grief they should of stood by her. Being that she was a member.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        I can’t talk to you because I don’t deal with ppl whose hearts is filled with hate. You need to hurry and attend a church that represents God the right way. Ppl talked about Jesus but did he stay away from them. No

      • I said it. on said:

        Jesus didn’t mind calling a thing a thing. He called out the Sadducees and Pharisees. He called people workers of lawlessness and told them they were a den of thieves. Unfortunately, people choose to remember only the parts of him that appease their greats and way of life. Jesus was a peacemaker not a peacekeeper. There’s a difference.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        And he still died for our sins. So what does that tell you he loves us and represents love not hate.

      • Dangerous BlkMan on said:

        I have seen the whole (some of the worse people I know go to church) or (The biggiest hypocrites and ppl filled with hate can be those in church) used by non religious or anti religious people all the time. They do this to try and convince people to not go to church and worship God. Mostly it is done by the Godless rich white college kids but Diamond you claim to be black to I feel sad for you.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        I have been to black churches and to me they are just as bad. I have been to a prodomiently white church and a latina church. The only ones that preached from the bible and didn’t beg for money was the Jehova witness church. It doesn’t matter the race of the church, there could still be hate and fake god worshiper inside.

  7. One sin is no greater than the other. So who exactly is sin free enough to have their home going service at this church? If the good people of the congregation stand by their conviction, no funerals can be held there. Not even the passa’s. No one is free of sin. It always amazes me when church people pick and choose which parts of the bible teachings to follow. Bible thumping idiots.

  8. Johnny Jedkins on said:

    If that is what the pastor believe by standing by his faith and his beliefs ,who are we to judge one way or another After all marriage according to my bible is between a man and a woman. Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.

  9. seriously on said:

    Good Grief! The man is dead and his fate and or judgment is not in the hands of mortal folks…Thanks Goodness…Because why not let God do the judging and that is actually in the bible. Church folks so self-righteous and so wrong every time

  10. Diamondgrrl55 on said:

    Is this church serious… So I guess they shouldn’t have anyone’s service there because we all are guilty of some sin. If they feel like he is wrong we all do a lot of wrong.

  11. Susan Moore on said:

    Right, wrong or indifferent, we all have a right to take a stand. If this is the church’s position then so be it. What was the motive for putting the church on blast?

    • I said it. on said:

      Yes. They tried to put the church on blast to force them to do what they want them to do. They want to force the majority to follow what they do.

      • Marriage is a human right, not a heterosexual or homosexual right. People of the church decide what rules they want to follow. Pre-marital sex is no different than being homosexual. People want to serve their god than follow the book and not cast the first stone. God makes the judgement. Not people. If, in fact, more people would mind their business and worry about themselves and who they choose to love and let in their pants and spend less home worrying about other people they’d be alright.

      • I said it. on said:

        Your response was incomprehensible, but eitherway, if the two husbands had a right to their beliefs, so does that church, The Church, and people who believe that the practice and flaunting of homosexuality is wrong.

        There are plenty of churches that will call out blatant sin.

      • Withlove, Tania on said:

        My response was perfectly comprehensible, actually. My point stands there are no “blatant” sins. They are all “equal” they are entitled to their beliefs, however it is sad that someone can’t even have a funeral because of said “beliefs”.

        People pick their sins just as they pick their battles.

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