Church Founder Lashes Whistle Blowers

By Daraine Luton
Jamaica Gleaner
July 10, 2006

A member of the congregation at the Dayton Avenue Church of God, St. Andrew, leaving the church at the end of service, yesterday.
Photo by Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

AMID shouts of amen and hallelujah, the founder of the Dayton Avenue Church of God, Ruby Kelly, yesterday chastised whistle blowers in her congre-gation for making known the sexual molestation case of a 14-year-old schoolgirl.

The girl was being given a ride home in a van driven by a deacon of the church when the schoolboys began assaulting her.

Church members, dissatisfied with how the alleged molestation was being dealt with by the church, leaked a copy of the X-rated tape to The Gleaner.


"You gave up your own to be tried by the unbelievers," Ms. Kelly said in a tongue-lashing that lasted more than half-hour. "Because of you, the name of 6 Dayton Avenue is all over the place."

Ms. Kelly reminded her congregation of the woman recorded in the Bible who had committed adultery but was set free.

She further said everyone has faults.

The elderly church founder spoke just after the reading of the Beatitudes, according to the Gospel of Matthew.

She then moved on to chastise the media for exposing those involved in the molestation.

"I know everyone of them and I will deal with them ... I know the reporter. I will deal with them. I am a God of vengeance," she underscored to resounding shouts of "amen".

The founder, who said she started the church in a room 43 years ago, likened those in police custody to the three Hebrew boys and Daniel. These biblical characters she spoke of had been through persecution and were delivered by God.

Daniel was thrown into the lions' den and the Hebrew Boys - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - into a fiery furnace.

"I am with those in chains," said Ms. Kelly.

"What have they done? I shall deliver you my servant. Why should they be sitting behind prison bars? What wrong have they done," Ms. Kelly questioned.


She also accused the media of being unkind.

"You have no love. You just want to tear down ... You have no idea how Dayton Avenue was built," Ms. Kelly said inside the three-quarter full church.

A male member also ex-pressed displeasure with the publishing of the story but considered it important for the law to take its course.

"If you break the law then the law must deal with you, but all of this tearing down of the church is not necessary," he said.

At the end of the service, members of the media were again criticised by some church members.

One person referred to the reporters as "demons of dark-ness" while others sceptically offered 'God Bless You'.

The deacon implicated in the sexual molestation, along with two of the boys, have been taken into police custody.


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