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When will the price be paid?

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Dear Editor,

Reverend Merrick “Al” Miller is the founder of the Fellowship Tabernacle church. He is a colourful and inspired preacher and has a large following.

My only disagreement with him was when he asked for prayers for former US President Donald Trump. Because, at the same time, I had been praying for the world to be delivered from this man. You can imagine my elation when the Lord heard my supplication and clearly ignored Rev Miller.

Earlier this year he was awarded national honours. He had laboured long and hard in the vineyard and deserved it. No sooner had the announcement been made than some articles started to appear. They were unkind. Some were venomous. Then they stopped.

Recently, however, it was announced that the award was withdrawn. The reason given was “public disapproval”. I found this to be strange. The question I wish to ask is this: Did the recipient do something after the conferring of the award or did some prior act just surface to justify this change of mind?

It seems this decision had to do with an incident which occurred some years ago when fugitive Christopher “Dudus” Coke was apprehended in Rev Miller's car. At the time, the word everywhere was that Coke had resigned himself to being extradited to the US. He was, however, fearful of being taken into custody by the Jamaican police. That should not have been a surprise as his family members had never fared well in police custody. The last one — his father — died under highly suspicious circumstances in his cell. A proper investigation was never conducted. Then it was claimed that those people in high places, with whom he had secret dealings, were worried about what he might reveal if a plea deal were offered and did not want him to leave the country alive.

Much is made of this apprehension. Rev Miller claims that he was taking Coke to the United States Embassy. Others see it differently.

After an examination of the situation, my thoughts are as follows. Coke could not be found. It is reasonable to assume, therefore, that he was — for the time being — safe. Kingston was the most dangerous place for him to be at that time. An unarmed Keith Clarke was shot on sight when he was mistaken for Coke. The likelihood that Dudus would leave a safe hiding place and journey back into Kingston to hang out with Rev Miller is fanciful. I believe Rev Miller's explanation simply because it is the only explanation that makes sense.

Unfortunately, ours is a society in which we enjoy thinking the worst of each other. And that is so, so sad. I have never met or spoken to Rev Miller or Coke.

So what of the future?

From all accounts, Rev Miller does not need national honours to endear himself to his followers. But what happens when anyone we dislike receives national honours? Can we put a few letter writers to work and have the award rescinded? I find this volte-face to be deeply troubling — deeply, deeply troubling.


Glenn Tucker


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