Church cancels funeral after learning dead man was gay

Posted at 10:33 AM, Aug 08, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-08 11:20:07-04

Tampa, Fl. (CNN) – Loved ones of a man were forced to scramble to make new arrangements after a church in Florida canceled a funeral with just one day’s notice once the pastor and congregation learned the deceased man was gay.

Julion Evans, 42, died in July of Amyloidosis, a condition in which abnormal protein production can lead to organ failure.

Evans’ family attends New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa and wanted the funeral there.

“I felt it probably would have been best for him to be at the church, his family grew up in the church, it just made sense,” said Kendall Capers, Evans’ husband.

The church agreed to the funeral, but the invitation was abruptly revoked during the wake after the newspaper obituary named Capers as the surviving “husband.”

Julion’s mother said she was told by the church that it would be blasphemous for her son’s funeral to be held at the church.

T.W. Jenkins, the church pastor says the church doesn’t support gay marriage.

“I try not to condemn anyone’s lifestyle, but at the same time, I am a man of God and have to stand upon my principles,” he said.

Pastor Jenkins said he regrets the decision was made the night before the funeral. He said he typically reviews obituaries before they publish it, but was on vacation when this one went into the newspaper.