- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The daughter of 93-year-old Houston woman is upset after a local pastor reportedly refused to bury her mother, who had been a member of the church, because she hadn’t tithed since she fell sick nearly a decade ago.

Barbara Day said her mother, Olivia Blair, was a member at Fourth Missionary Baptist Church for 50 years, a local Fox affiliate reported. She died more than a week ago after being in a coma for months, Ms. Day said. She said her only wish was for her mother to be buried “in the church that she loved and worshiped all of her life, even as a little girl.”

Preacher watchdog Tyrone Jacques said he “pleaded” with the church’s pastor, Walter F. Houston, to ask him to reconsider.

“He told me, ‘Absolutely not,’ and he didn’t want to apologize,” Mr. Jacques said during an interview with Isiah Carey from Fox 26.

Mr. Carey said the pastor confirmed the reason Blair couldn’t be buried there is because she was “no longer a member” of the church for not supporting it financially for the last 10 years, Raw Story reported.

Mr. Jacques said the comment that struck him the most during his conversation with Mr. Houston was when he allegedly asked, “If the family cared so much, why didn’t they at least send a dollar to the church a week to reserve her membership?”

Mr. Houston refused to speak to the Fox affiliate on camera.

Mr. Jacques said he is planning protests in the area to put pressure on the church to reconsider its decision.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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