Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Devon Dick | What manner of clergyman is this?

Published:Thursday | August 8, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Pastor Kenneth Blake, of the Harvest Temple Apostolic Church, after two years of denial and two DNA tests, has pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old repeatedly, and eventually impregnating her.

Blake was not from any ‘deadie, deadie’ church. This was not a clergyman from a book-learning church. He was from a ‘Holy Ghost-filled, water-baptised, Jesus on my mind’ church. This is a ‘signs and wonders’ church. So how come he had sex with an underage girl and repeatedly lied about this?

Blake was deliberate about his actions. This was no crime of passion. He sent away the older sister so that he could have his way with the younger one, and then gave her hush money to keep her quiet.

This clergyman’s ‘wicked bad’. He should be protecting this innocent, vulnerable child instead of ravishing her. He should have had pity on the little baby girl. This pastor was engaged to marry this child’s mother and he was not satisfied with the ‘cow’ but wanted the ‘calf’, too. He was greedy. Spare a thought for this mother. She must have been stressed beyond what is humanly bearable.

This pastor damaged the reputation of the child and mother, claiming that the mother was an extortionist. And he was so convincing that some people believed him.

What manner of clergyman, knowing that he was guilty, would call for a DNA test? And after the test said 99.9 per cent chance he could not be excluded as the father, pays for a personal expert to do another one. So, what did he expect: that prayer would change the results or if he confessed privately to God, then a miracle would happen and change the results? Him think God a sleep.

Tell the judge nuh bother with any three-year sentence. Let this demon ‘hold you position’ in a prison and throw away the key. Or better yet, do what Jesus said to those who lead a little one astray: put a millstone around his neck and throw him into the sea.

In addition, this clergyman should pay back every cent to the church for the two-year period. As a matter a fact, he should repay from the time he started to touch the little girl. The police should also interview all the girls under 16 who attended that church and see if he had traumatised others. Furthermore, all members who believed the pastor and made disparaging remarks about the victim and her mother, should wear sackcloth and ashes and ask pardon. It was callous and lacking a discerning spirit to not believe the child.

Something is wrong in the church when nobody, no church umbrella group, called for him to be suspended over these serious allegations during the two-year period. But in any case, a clergyman can be convicted twice for serious offences and nothing happens.

Blake has brought the Church into disrepute. People will wonder whether all the healings and prophecies were fake and just duppy stories.

Last Sunday, at the Churches Lecture Series, Professor Maureen Samms Vaughn, in reviewing children’s rights in Jamaica, in a lecture titled ‘Emancipating Children’ said that while we do well with survival rights – right to the basic needs for existence; development rights – right to name and nationality; and participation rights – right to be involved in community, when it comes to protection rights, Jamaica is failing badly. Our children are victims of abuse, neglect and exploitation. The Church needs to create safe spaces for children and jealously guard these young ones against these predators.

No sah, dis yah clergyman nuh normal.

Rev Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. He is author of ‘The Cross and the Machete’, and ‘Rebellion to Riot’. Send feedback to columns@ gleanerjm.com.