A Houston pastor has refused to host the funeral of an elderly 50 year member of his church. Although Olivia Blair was a long-time member, Pastor Walter F. Houston said the sickly woman was not caught up on her dues. Tyrone Jacques of PimpPreacher.com offered to pay for the funeral and to have it on a day the church would already be closed, but the pastor refused to back down from his position.
Barbara Day, Blair’s daughter, said she was devastated after finding she had to shop around for a place to hold her mother’s funeral service. She felt insulted after the manner Houston treated her when she reached out to him. The pastor stated Blair had not attended the Fourth Missionary Baptist Church in recent years and had not paid her dues. Day said they knew her mother was ill, but they did not care. All they were concerned about was getting money. She explained the painful experience as follows:
It was like the last insult in the world, there was nothing else that I could do for my mother but funeralize her in the church that she loved and worshiped all of her life, even as a little girl. For the past two years, my mother has been in either a nursing home or a hospital; the last few months, she was in a coma!
Jacques said he also reached out to the pastor in hopes of convincing him to change his stance before taking the story to the public, but Houston refused. When speaking with the pastor Jacques said his “bull headed” response on Sunday, November 16th was, “Celebrating the life of Blair is the farthest thing from my mind.” He added:
I am not changing my bylaws for someone who was not active. Olivia Blair had not been a member of this church in eight or nine years! If the family cared so much then why didn’t one of them at least send a dollar over here to reserve her membership?
The pastor’s mean-spirited demeanor has prompted the website PimpPreacher.com to sponsor the Olivia Blair Project in memory of Day’s mother. The project focuses on the abuse of tithing and the financial trauma it can inflict on those living on fixed incomes, primarily the elderly. It is seeking to protect these people from “Satanic” pastors who mandate their elderly members, along with those living on fixed income, to pay 10 percent of their government-funded income.
PimpPreacher.com is seeking help from anyone that can assist with drafting the legislation of the new law to be titled, Predatory Tithing Laws. Currently churches in America are shielded from paying taxes but some of the church’s finances come from people who receive government funding. Not all churches abuse their members in such fashion but according to Jacques, far too many are guilty.
Jacques understands that this proposal may sound extreme to many people but said, “If it is illegal for recipients of government subsidy to buy beer with Food Stamps, it should also be against the law for pastors to mandate money be donated towards church expenses from those living off government funding.” He said the only way to enforce this type of law would be to have it fall under the umbrella of the IRS and attach an automatic revocation of the minister’s license along with a mandatory 10 year federal prison sentence.
Many people were outraged upon learning of this story, however one person who heard of the woman’s fate agreed with the church having bylaws and guidelines and questioned why guidelines could be followed everywhere except the church. The unnamed person stated:
The daughter of the 93 yr. old woman let her rage get the best of her and now the media is involved in foolishness. Even if she disagreed with the pastor why didn’t she just move on and let the services be held at her church. I bet she made such a stink out of all of this because she doesn’t have a church home. Sinners need to stop trying to dip their noses in church business. Remember the Lord said touch not my anointed.
Day feels religion has become entirely too commercialized and said it makes no sense after paying dues to a church for that long Houston would emphatically deny her request. She said her stepfather, who preceded her mother in death, had also been funeralized at the Fourth Missionary Baptist Church. Day said she cannot understand what any of this has to do with God.
Barbara Day said for at least 50 years her mother, Olivia Blair, was a member at Fourth Missionary Baptist Church. After being in a coma for months Blair died. Day claims her mother loved this church and worshiped there all of her life. Pastor Walter F. Houston said none of this mattered when the request came for Blair’s funeral to be held at the church because she had not attended nor paid her dues in many years.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)