Church Defends Deacon in Child Sex Case
Says God Will Punish Member Who Leaked Info

The Jamaica Observer
July 10, 2006

A church elder at the Dayton Avenue Church of God yesterday claimed that a member of the congregation had leaked information of their deacon's alleged involvement in the sexual assault of a schoolgirl and warned that God would exact vengeance on the whistleblower.

"I know them that betray, I know them that sell out, fighting against each other, that has caused my name to be all over. I shall deal with them, I am a God of vengeance," the elderly lady prayed aloud, claiming that the words were God's.

"Selling our one another out to unbelievers, all that is establishing over the country about Dayton Avenue is because we are against one another," she said.

The more than 70 members of the church present at yesterday morning's service voiced their agreement with the elder, saying "Amen" and "Hallelujah" during the prayer that ran for well over an hour.

"No one is perfect," she continued. "No one in 6 Dayton Avenue is righteous. All sin is sin".

She said God knew the heart of His servant who was behind bars and was present with him.

The deacon is accused of watching while a group of young men sexually assaulted a schoolgirl in the back of a van he was driving.

Police say the deacon drove the van to the girl's school and offered her a ride home.

Several young men were in the back of the van, and some time after they left the school compound, the young men held her and began to assault her. One of the young men video-recorded the incident, and some time afterwards a copy was forwarded to the police and members of the media, who then went public with the information.

On Friday, the Half-Way-Tree police raided the deacon's house where they said they found other tapes, including a copy of the tape showing the girl being assaulted.

Yesterday, at the church, worship commenced with the reading of the Beatitudes from Matthew 5.

The congregation also read 1 Corinthians 6, which generally speaks to the principle of dealing with problems within the church internally.

Later, during the long prayer, the church elder said that real evil was being carried out but was not being reported.

"The amount of evil that carry on in many homes and it was not reported to the news stations," she said, then asked, "who spread this?"

One congregant muttered, "spread propaganda, watch it", in agreement. Claiming that she was speaking as the Lord led, the elder said, "My work will go on. Who to put out, I will put out".

She claimed the Lord was grieved that the accused deacon had been allowed to stay behind bars for so long without much effort on the part of church members to have him freed. She claimed God was also grieved that the church had allowed unbelievers to deal with God's people.

"Allow them to be behind bars until now and don't do anything. Should they sit behind prison bars? What crime did they commit? Did they kill anyone?" she asked.

"He should not be behind bars for that long," the elder said, and prayed for a special blessing for the individual who had decided to get their lawyer to intervene on behalf of the deacon.

The elder also accused the media of blowing the incident out of proportion, causing the deacon to be victimised and the church's name to be sullied.

She said the name of the 43-year-old church would be cleared because God would use the incident for His glory.


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