MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA—The 144 men, women and children summoned to church, robed in white, found themselves witnessing a macabre ritual of sacrificial death and facing the long arms of police and military personnel.
The hellish nightmare played out in the Jamaican city of Montego Bay on the night of Sunday, Oct. 17, in contravention of a government decree that, with a few exceptions, there should be no movement islandwide in keeping with ongoing efforts to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. If anyone saw this coming, they had kept it secret. Even some police officers were among the church’s congregation, the city’s Police Commissioner, Antony Anderson, said in a press briefing about the incident.
The church of the self-styled “Prophet to the Nations,” proclaimed as His Excellency Dr. Kevin O. Smith, has been operating for many years under his Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries. A copy of his biography obtained by The Daily Beast identifies Smith as “former crown Ambassador of the Throne of Nubia Sheba, globe traveller to over 100 countries worldwide and Yeshu’a Hamashiach end time Prophet to the Nations.”
In Facebook posts on Sunday, Smith had warned his followers of an incoming “flood” and instructed them not to take their cell phones to church that evening, but one member’s disobedience might have prevented a massacre. The police disclosed that it was an errant female follower who was overwhelmed by the sight of another young lady being killed in front of the congregation that caused her to leave and call the police.The Pathways Christian Cathedral, approximately a mile from downtown Montego Bay, became the scene of a deadly confrontation when police and army personnel responded to the call.