That’s not the Kevin I know - Grand aunt of MoBay pastor shocked at accusations he’s leading a cult
Early Monday morning, Adele Morrison said she got a disturbing dream and woke up with heart palpitations.
A devout Catholic, she said she prayed earnestly, but nothing could prepare her for the news that she received shortly after. Standing outside her gate in Cassava River in rural St Andrew, she said she was shocked when she heard about an incident that involved the church that her grandnephew, Dr Kevin O. Smith, operates in St James.
"Mi deh inna mi sleep and dream say a white cloud and a piece a blackness just start swirl cross. My heart was beating fast and mi wake up and take up my Catholic bible and pray. The dream was frightening," she said.
Smith is head of the Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries. He and members of his congregation were arrested on Sunday night following what has been described as a blood-shedding ritual that claimed the lives of two persons. Another person was shot and killed after he reportedly attacked the police who were called to the scene. Three other persons were taken to hospital for treatment. Smith and members of the congregation have so far been charged under the Disaster Risk Management Act for breaching the nightly curfew.
"I got a call from a relative that Kevin dead but sometime after we get a next call that he was in the custody of the police. I really don't know what to make about these allegations because no one in our family is known for those things. The Kevin I know wouldn't be involved in something like this. Kevin full a manners," Morrison said.
It is alleged that Smith had instructed some members of the congregation to prepare themselves to be cleansed as they would be travelling on a heavenly journey. The members, who were all told to dress in white, were told that they would be placed on an ark that was leaving at 9:30 a.m. on Monday. However, what unfolded next was pure horror as a senior figure in the church slit the throat of a woman, then a man.
Morrison said she is still in disbelief over the nightmarish ordeal and stressed that she does not believe Smith would order anyone to be killed. Morrison said Smith was born in Kingston but relocated with his mother to Cassava River. A past student of Jamaica College, she said Smith migrated to Toronto, Canada, as a teenager where he attended theological school.
"Him always come to visit us. I saw him about three years ago. Him always drive him nice car come look for us and take things for us. He told us that he was going to invite all of his six aunties including me to the church but him never come around to doing it," he said.
The news team spoke with a few residents who said that Smith was from a decent background and they are shocked at the accusations but had long questioned if Smith was 'right in the head'.
"When him come here, him always inna di latest vehicle. He is from a very educated family. Dem family nuh involve in any foolishness and this is the biggest scandal dem would ever call upon," said one resident. "Mi just feel like him head chip. Mi really nuh surprised if a that happen and everyone in the community know why mi say that."