Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Cult saga shames Glengoffe

Hinting at childhood trauma, family stands by Kevin Smith

Published:Monday | October 25, 2021 | 12:08 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer
Errol Morrison, of Glengoffe, St Catherine, says he would like to ask his cousin, detained pastor Kevin O. Smith, what really took place at the Pathways International church on October 17.
Errol Morrison, of Glengoffe, St Catherine, says he would like to ask his cousin, detained pastor Kevin O. Smith, what really took place at the Pathways International church on October 17.
The humble home in Glengoffe where Kevin O. Smith grew up.
The humble home in Glengoffe where Kevin O. Smith grew up.
The humble home in Glengoffe where Kevin O. Smith grew up.
The humble home in Glengoffe where Kevin O. Smith grew up.
Kevin O. Smith
Kevin O. Smith
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While residents of the Glengoffe hometown of alleged Montego Bay cult leader Kevin O. Smith expressed outrage at the reported death ritual that transpired at his Pathways International church last Sunday, family members say they will stick by him...

While residents of the Glengoffe hometown of alleged Montego Bay cult leader Kevin O. Smith expressed outrage at the reported death ritual that transpired at his Pathways International church last Sunday, family members say they will stick by him to the end.

However, both community folk and the family of Smith are united in the shame caused by scandalous allegations about the religious dogma and practices of the Montego Bay church that was the site where two members’ throats were slit. A third was killed by the police as they breached the church building.

Errol Morrison, Smith’s cousin, who still resides at the detained pastor’s childhood home, told The Gleaner that even though the allegations have caused ignominy, the family will give him all the necessary support during his ordeal.

“It kind a traumatise the whole family. It nuh really look good. It is embarrassing to the whole family, because people a question we bout it. Is a lot of things we have to face,” said Morrison on Sunday.

“Regardless of family, God can change people. I don’t know if him really do the things that take place down there, but the Government will have to do the proper investigation,” he continued.

Morrison said that Smith’s mother, Marva Morrison, herself a minister of religion who resides in Canada, is heartbroken at the turn of events concerning her son.

He hinted at a childhood event that may have had some bearing on Smith’s adult life, but stopped short of disclosing details, suggesting that it was a sensitive family matter.

“Something go wrong. Him get hurt from him was much younger. Mi nuh really waan go inna dat,” he said.

The rock-star fame Smith generated as he engaged in photo ops with political figures like former Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller and Governor General Sir Patrick Allen was worlds away from his humble beginnings.

Migrated to Canada

Smith grew up in the Glengoffe United Pentecostal Church during his early years, before leaving for Canada shortly after his mother reportedly filed immigration documents for him and his two siblings.

Before migrating, Smith, whose deceased father was a member of the Jamaica Defence Force, attended the Grateful Hill Primary School in Glengoffe before leaving with his mother to live for a short time in Barbican, St Andrew.

Most residents of Glengoffe spoke in hushed tones on Sunday, preferring to avoid talk of the eccentric native whose dogma and actions on the night of October 17 are now the subject of a criminal investigation.

Smith and Andre Ruddock, who were at the church that night, are in custody. They have not yet been charged.

Marva, a resident who claimed she attended Glengoffe High with Smith’s mother, said that the incident has cast a dark shadow over the rural community as the notoriety of the Pathways International church doctrines and practices has rattled the quaint district.

“He has disgraced the community, and his family. He should pay if the allegations are true,” Marva, who declined to have her surname published, told The Gleaner.

Morrison said that Smith started his ministry in Canada and later established himself in Jamaica, preaching in a number of churches in the Corporate Area before putting down roots in Montego Bay.

“I would like to see him to ask him what really took place, I know him as a spiritual person, but when you go to a higher level inna God, if you nuh careful, Satan will rob you,” Morrison said.

Morrison revealed that Smith was once married to a Canadian but divorced shortly after the wedding and has remained single ever since.