Church moving on from convicted pastor
The mood of the congregation at the Pentecostal City Mission Church on Blunt Street in Denham Town yesterday was not reflective of the gloom which now hangs over a former pastor of the church.
Paul Hanniford, 55, who was convicted in January of having sex with a 13-year-old girl, was sentenced to 20 years in prison by Justice Lorna Shelly Williams in the Home Circuit Court on Friday.
Yesterday, our news team visited the morning service, the first since the sentencing, where it was communion day. The message to the congregation was 'Preserving the Remnant'.
Some of the members were reluctant to speak on the matter, while others expressed sympathy. A young man told THE STAR he did not follow the trial.
"Despite what happened, we are still here worshipping. We still don't know what happened. All I know he was a pastor three years ago, however, he was stripped of his pastoral commitment because he remarried, and according to the doctrine of this church once that happens you can no longer be a pastor," he said.
Our news team spoke to one individual who said she had been closely following the case and felt sorry for Hanniford.
"He was a very powerful man. I don't know what lead him to get involved in that. He was my pastor, but when the matter was made public, he stepped down. When you, are in trouble is not everybody going to speak good of you, but he was a man everybody looked up to here," she said.
Hanniford's name was never mentioned during the service. However, a bishop said that members of the church should look into themselves and see if there is any unrighteousness among them.