January 23, 2017:    An Adventist evangelist in Jamaica has made the headlines by calling Christian child abusers “mongrels.”

Evangelist John Martin of Gregory Park Seventh-day Adventist Church in St Catherine, Jamaica quoted Philippians 3 where Paul urges believers to “Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh.”

According to an article in Jamaica’s The Star on January 20, Martin was adamant that Paul was referring to church-going Christians in his remarks about dogs.

He detailed three categories of dogs saying “poodles are the stush people that don’t talk to anybody; mongrels are the leaders in our church who are abusing vulnerable children, and the German shepherds are like me. Those members who seek to spread God’s word without contempt.”

Martin called for prayers about the problem of child abuse in church claiming that prayer had already led to some child abusers being exposed.

The Adventist Church in Jamaica has frequently been in local news headlines in stories about the issue of child abuse. Accusations of lax action against child abuse have plagued the church.

In March 2016, the Jamaica Gleaner newspaper ran a story in which Everett Brown, president of the denomination’s Jamaica Union Conference said he had called for both pastors and members to change the tendency to not report crime within the church, especially crime against children.

“We have told our pastors that, listen, the time for hiding is over – you have a legal responsibility to do this,” said Brown.