No gangster funerals - says MoBay pastor
The families of gang members and those killed in confrontation with the security forces will be barred from having their funerals at two Seventh-day Adventist churches in St James.
These and other changes are part of new protocol for funerals at the Glendevon and Norwood Seventh-day Adventist churches.
Pastor of both churches, Charles Brevitt, said : “We are not going to have any funeral for anybody who was killed in an altercation with law enforcement and we are not going to have funerals easily for people who are killed in gang feuds.”
Brevitt told the WESTERN STAR that the church is moving to impose a new protocol which will regulate the type of funerals that will be allowed at the churches.
He said that both churches conduct, on a weekly basis, as much as three funerals each week. This is a number he said they are seeking to reduce.
At the same time, persons to whom consideration may be granted would have to ensure that adequate security measures are in place before the church gives its blessing.
“We are going to be very hesitant if we cannot get the police presence there to secure our well-being and the well-being of our properties,” he said.
Brevitt, who is known for taking tough decisions, said that he does not intend to make himself a sacrifice by providing a venue for reprisals in hosting the funerals of those killed in gang activities.
“It is going to affect the community, but our security comes first and I am not going to sacrifice myself, Jesus already died for me, so I don’t have to spill my blood,” he said. “I am too old now to be running and hiding from gunshots at funerals and so we are going to have to look very carefully at the funerals that we have”.
Brevitt said that going forward, a thorough examination of the requests for funerals would be done.
However, he said that he along with church elders, are prepared to commit the bodies at venues other than their sacred place of worship.
“We will be willing to go to the parlour and do some of these funerals, (and) we will be willing to go to the graveside and do so some of these funerals, but we are not going to keep our doors open for all and sundry,” he said.