Church is supposed to be a place where people seek solace and comfort during times of need. But for one Houston family, they found the exact opposite at the worst possible time.
Barbara Day, the daughter of 93-year-old Olivia Blair, had always planned to bury her mother at the Fourth Missionary Baptist Church, a church she had attended for 50 years. But the pastor, Walter Houston refused to bury Blair because she hadn’t paid her tithes.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution included excerpts from Barbara Day’s interview with KRIV in Houston, Texas.
“It was like the last insult in the world.” Day said her only wish was for her mother to be buried “in the church that she loved and worshipped all of her life, even as a little girl.”
Day said that her mother had been a church member for five decades but had been sick for the past ten years and in a coma for that past two years.
Tyrone Jacques, a preacher watchdog contacted Pastor Houston and asked him to reconsider but he would not be persuaded. Instead, he said, Blair was “no longer a member of the church because she had not supported it financially in the last 10 years.”
Jacques then offered to pay for the service but Pastor Houston said no, claiming that “membership had its privileges.”
Day was outraged saying that the church only cares about “getting money money money money money!”
I tend to agree with Day. I don’t see how the church can claim their operating under God’s will in this situation, particularly when Jesus spoke frequently about aiding the sick and poor. And if she stopped paying tithes, then it seems like that’s something she’ll have to take up with God. Just like Pastor Houston might be asked to explain why he chose not to bury her.
What do you think about this church’s decision? Should they have buried this woman because it was just the right thing to do or were they just in their decision considering she hadn’t contributed financially in the past ten years?