Church leaders distance themselves as disgraced pastor awaits sentencing on sex charges


The Kingston-based Harvest Temple Apostolic Church has vowed to press on, declaring that it has nothing to be ashamed of as its disgraced pastor awaits sentencing on sex-related charges after impregnating a 12-year-old girl.

Last week, Pastor Kenneth Blake pleaded guilty to two counts of having sex with a person under 16 years old and one count of sexual touching in the Home Circuit Court. He had been denying the charges for two years, despite DNA tests revealing that there was a 99.9 per cent chance he was the father of the minor’s child.

At yesterday’s first Sunday service since the guilty plea, senior church leaders insisted that the pastor’s sins would not be the congregation’s shame.

“God doesn’t deal with wrong. If somebody is wrong, then they will receive their pay for what they do. I am free through the Son of God and there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus,” a female elder, who did not wish to be identified, told The Gleaner after yesterday’s service. “What happened cannot affect the church, which is built on Jesus Christ. I am not afraid and I am not cast down because the church didn’t do anything wrong,” she added.(Jamaica Gleaner)…[+]