*They say “money is the root of all evil.” Keep that in mind as you read this story about a pastor who refused to bury one of his church members…and why
Olivia Blair, shown in the photo above, lived to be the ripe old age of 93 before she passed away after years of sickness and months of being comatose.
She had joined Fourth Missionary Baptist Church at the age of 43, and when she passed away, her family contacted the church to let them know and requested they perform her burial services.
You can imagine their shock and disappointment when pastor Walter F. Houston said ‘Absolutely not!’
The reason: She had not paid her tithes over the past two years.
“For the last two years, my mother has been in either a nursing home or she’s been in a hospital. And the last few months, she was in a coma!” explained Barbara Day, the decedent’s daughter.
Day went on to say that the church only cared about “money,” and argued that even retail stores were more respectful of their customers. She has a hard time understanding the commercialization that has now found its way into religion, and asks,
“What does this have to do with God? Why can’t I give my mother her last wish to be funeralized in a church that she loved so much?”
Barbara Day said the situation “was like the last insult in the world,” and also indicated that the refusal left her scrambling around town to make alternate funeral arrangements.
PimpPreacher.com owner, Tyrone Jacques says he pleaded with Pastor Houston to ask if he would reconsider and he refused. He then asked the pastor if having the funeral on a day when the church was closed would be acceptable. Jacques even offered to foot the bill for the service.
But even this offer was refused by Houston, who told Jacques, “Membership has its privileges.”
Adding insult to injury, Jacques says that during his conversation with the pastor, who said the burial was refused because Blair was no longer a member (which the family denies) and she had not held up her financial obligation to the church he asked, why no one had gone to check on the absent member. Jacques was told by the pastor, if they cared so much for her, why didn’t they send a dollar to maintain her membership.
Jacques has now put his efforts into launching “The Olivia Blair Project,” which seeks to draft Congressional legislation aimed at curbing what the site calls “predatory tithing laws.”
Now I ask you readers, and I especially want to hear from Christian readers: How do you feel about the actions of this pastor who refused to bury Olivia Barnes? Do you agree that because she didn’t pay tithes, she should not be buried by her church?
Watch the video news report directly below. And visit thegrio.com to see how others’ answered the questions.