The son of a dying man was told that he would not be allowed to hold a funeral at the Lees Chapel Baptist Church in Sweetwater, Tennessee
PASTOR Jay Scruggs is facing a public backlash for refusing to allow a funeral to take place for Jessie Goodman’s terminally ill father who could die any day.
Scruggs told Goodman that he could not allow service to to take place at his church because of Goodman’s sexuality. He said if Goodman and his partner Brandon Smitty insisted on being involved in the funeral, they would need to find another church.
This, despite the dying man’s last wishes to have his funeral at the Chapel Baptist Church.
Now, local residents are slamming the church for its “sinful” discrimination.
After Goodman spoke out about the disgusting way he was treated by Scruggs, hundreds from the local community have come to his support and have called out the church for its “shameful” actions.
A local wrote on the church’s Yelp page.
Shameful that this organization refuses to allow a man his last wish (to have his funeral at their sanctuary) just because his son is gay. This is not a church that I would even consider visiting. What sort of Christians turn down family in their time of need?
Yelp has since suspended comments on the church’s page.
Others online said that while they did not agree with Goodman’s sexual orientation, they believed it was wrong for the church to punish Goodman’s father for his choices.
One Facebook user wrote:
I may not agree with your lifestyle, but I will always love you. Regardless of his beliefs, your daddy loved you wholeheartedly, as he should have and it seems sinful to me to punish him for being there for his son.
Goodman, who is a hairstylist, told news channel WTVC station he was making arrangements for the service at the church when its leadership discovered that he was engaged to a man named Brandon Smitty.
When WTVC contacted Scruggs, he refused to comment and said he would only speak with the station after Goodman’s father had died.
Goodman’s father was a pastor himself. A comment on Goodman’s Facebook post about his struggles with the church said they heard Jessie’s father “preach many times” and called him “a man of God.”
Though Goodman’s father won’t be able to have his service at the first church he went to, another funeral home offered help.