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Date Posted: 19:50:38 06/24/02 Mon
Author: Lafaux
Subject: Mourners At Funeral, Attack The Preacher.

Loxley Alabama

Police are investigating claims that a preacher who told funeral mourners the deceased was in hell-and that they were headed the same way-was attacked during the service and dragged out of the church.

The alleged attack began after Pastor Orlando Bethel, 35, began preaching after singing a song at the June 14 funeral of Lish Devan Taylor, the uncle of Bethel's wife, Glynis.

"He got up and began to share with them that Lish Devan was not there because he was in hell and he was a drunkard and a fornicator." Mrs. Bethel, who is also a preacher, said in an interview Friday.

"He said, 'You need to repent for fornication,'" she said. "The fornicators didn't like what he said so they got up and beat him."

Members of the congregation are accused of dragging the preacher out of the pulpit and assaulting him. The fight spilled out into the parking lot, and Mrs. Bethel said some of the mourners later showed up at their house and attacked her husband again.

Efforts to reach those accused in the attacks and other relatives of Taylor were unsuccessful Friday.

Taylor, 56 died of prostate cancer, according to Mrs. Bethel. Mrs. Bethel said police refused to make any arrests in the melee, so she and her husband are taking out warrants for four men who the Mettles say participated in the attack.

Bethel suffered numerous cuts and bruises and may have a broken nose, she said.

Police Chief Cliff Better said the case was being investigated. A witness claimed to have a videotape of the fracas but police have yet to see it, he said.

Hearing an unflattering description of the dead man angered many of his relatives, but Mrs. Bethel said her husband was duty-bound as a minister to "preach the Gospel."
"It doesn't matter where it is," she said. "He was a wicked man as outlined in the Bible."
The Associated Press

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[> Oh Good Lord! It's a good thing I don't live in the South, LOL! -- ladyday the fornicator, 21:43:44 06/24/02 Mon

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[> [> This one was too funny to pass by! That preacher aughta learn how to use some tact! -- Lafaux, 22:07:36 06/24/02 Mon

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