Nov 1, 2021

Smith told followers Selassie is God

Jamaica Observer
November 01, 2021
The now-deceased Kevin Smith, leader of Pathways International,
Kingdom Restoration Ministries in Montego Bay, St James.

In a sharp departure from traditional Christian belief, Kevin Smith, the now- deceased leader of Pathways International Kingdom Restoration Ministries, told his followers that Haile Selassie is God.

According to a former congregant, Smith made the declaration two weeks before the bloody October 17, 2021 ritual at Pathways in which two members of the religious organisation were murdered, their throats slashed, and a third shot dead by the police when he allegedly attacked them as they entered the building in Albion, St James..

“He started to tell us that God is Jesus Christus, which is Rastafari, which is Selassie, who was God in the flesh and he started to give us all manner of Bible verses that would confirm that Selassie is God,” the former Pathways member, who said he was shot in the back by Smith, stabbed and an attempt made to cut his throat, told the Jamaica Observer.

“We had doubts but we still believed, and he read a Bible verse that said 'he who does not confess that God has come in the flesh is not of God, but he who confess that God came in the flesh, born of a virgin', he said that they confess that Jesus Christ is God and he said Jesus Christus Rastafari is the conquering lion of the tribe of Judah, HIM, His Imperial Majesty,” added the former congregant who asked not to be identified because he was ashamed that he had placed his trust in Smith.

Haile Selassie I was emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974.

Rastafarians, it is said, believe in his deity because Marcus Garvey's prophecy — “Look to Africa where a black king shall be crowned, he shall be the redeemer” — was swiftly followed by Selassie's ascension to the throne.

Smith, the controversial Pathways leader died as a result of injuries sustained during a three-vehicle car crash on the Linstead bypass in St Catherine on October 25 as he was being transported by the police from Montego Bay to Kingston. He was on the verge of being charged with two counts of murder, two counts of wounding with intent, and illegal possession of firearm in relation to the vicious killings of 39-year-old Taneka Gardner and 38-year-old Michael Scottsdale Brown, both of St James, during what was believed to have been a human sacrifice ritual.

Smith's co-accused, Andre Ruddock, is scheduled to return to court on November 3 to answer to one count each of murder and wounding with intent.

Smith's actions have been condemned by local and international religious organisations and in the immediate aftermath of the killings the International Council of Pentecostal Bishops severed all ties with him.

The former congregant, in his interview with the Observer just under two weeks ago, also said that Smith had once given his followers a different version of the traditional story of Adam and Eve.

“He started to tell us that when God created Adam, Adam had a first wife by the name of Lilith and after Lilith strayed from Adam because of some form of power struggle — Lilith wanted to stay on top and have sex with Adam and did want to submit and all of this — because of that reason, Lilith wandered away and Lilith and the serpent were having sex. Then God realised that Adam was lonely and He put Adam in a deep sleep then created Eve out of Adam,” the former congregant claimed.

“We believed what he was saying so our whole concept of the Bible started to change,” the man told the Observer.

He also said that Smith was successful in driving a wedge between his followers and their families, and which he had experienced with the mother of his child.

“He pulled us away from our families by putting fear in us that our families are bad and they are working witchcraft on us. So when he tells us stuff like this, automatically if you hear say your family a work Obeah you go wah pull weh from dem because you go claim say your family a wicked. When we pulled away from our families then we start trust and believe inna him. All of us were distant from most of our extended families because he told us that somebody in our family a work witchcraft pon we,” the former Pathways member said.

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