Elderly woman accuses clergyman of taking funds intended for her burial
A Kingston pastor is being accused by a senior citizen of selling her car and using the money to buy himself a new vehicle instead of it being put down to fund her burial.
Seventy-four-year-old Jean Blake is describing as “savage”, the actions of head pastor of the Prophetic House of Worship Church, Kevin Campbell.
According to a letter Blake wrote to a church sister dated April 8, 2014, the arrangement was that Campbell was to use her Nissan Sunny motor car, as she had got too sick to drive. Blake had been seriously affected by cancer which resulted in her undergoing double mastectomy and also removing her womb.
In the letter, Blake explained that she was not sure how long she had left to live, and therefore, her church sister was to take the car from Campbell if she passed and sell it for no less than $360,000, and use the money to bury her.
But three years later, a feeble Blake has a live-in helper and recurring medical expenses, prompting her to call Campbell two weeks ago asking for the proceeds from the car’s sale.
“‘Ms Blake, I have no money for you.’ Those were his words and it was said three times,” Blake told THE WEEKEND STAR.
“I need my money as I only had the one car and I had hopes,” the old woman said.
Campbell does not deny having been loaned the car, but he said that the vehicle was later turned into a gift. He said any suggestion to the contrary should be seen as “false, phoney and erroneous” and of the “devil”.
“The vehicle was parked, as she couldn’t’t see properly. So, she had brought me to a place in Portmore to transfer the insurance in my name, but the people told her it couldn’t be done as she is an old person and I am a younger person, so the insurance that she had could not use for me. That was how I took it upon myself and changed out everything in my name,” the pastor said.
He said, too, that the car was sold for about $230,000 and that Blake was aware that the proceeds would go towards the purchase of a Mazda Tribute.
The pastor said that the gift of the car was not unusual as pastors are often the beneficiaries of gifts from members of their congregations.
“I remember I was saying that I really needed a vehicle, and she loaned me first, and then she stood up in church and said she is no longer lending me; she is giving me the vehicle,” the pastor said.
“This is the church we are talking about. People take up all Prado and give pastors. That’s not outside of the norm,” the pastor said.
But Blake strongly refutes Campbell’s assertion.
“You know when you have confidence in a person’s niceness and gentlemanliness; that was me. I am now finding out that there is nobody that nice that one can put one’s confidence in,” a sorrowful sounding Blake said.
“It hurts to the core. That’s why I use the word savage. I didn’t want to burden anyone to bury me. I am an independent lady, and it is not like I didn’t try to make preparations for myself.”