About that Blackburn Murder & MPT’s allegations

Amanda

 

Perhaps you heard about the pregnant pastor’s wife who was murdered in her home? Amanda Blackburn, 28, was shot and killed in her Indianopolis home during what police now maintain was a home invasion gone wrong. The Blackburn’s one-year old son was found in the home unharmed.

The killing happened shortly after Blackburn’s husband left for the gym. The killers reportedly entered the home through an unlocked front door. Some news reports indicate that Amanda, who was 12 weeks pregnant with the couple’s second child, was raped prior to being murdered.

The two young men arrested in the murder have pled not guilty. Police, however, seem to have gathered a good deal of physical evidence. Larry Jo Taylor Jr., 18, and Jalen Watson, 21, have been charged with murder and additional felonies related to burglaries at three other homes on Nov. 10.

The headlines of this story caught my attention when a friend on Twitter posted it and asked for prayer. He is friends with Davey Blackburn, Amanda’s husband. The Blackburns moved from the Carolinas to start the church, Resonate, where Davey pastors.

Amanda did not die at the scene. She and her unborn daughter, Evie, died in the hospital the next day. Her husband posted these words on the church’s website:

“It’s impossible to communicate all the emotions my heart has been forced to process,” Davey Blackburn wrote. “My wife was such a beautiful, gracious, loving woman of God. I have not only lost my ministry partner and support but also my very best friend. There is no way to prepare yourself for circumstances like these. As deeply as I am hurting, I am hopeful and confident that good things will come of this. I rest in the truth of Romans 8:28 that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.”

“Amanda made it her life’s calling to love and serve everyone she knew. Even more, she has made it her life’s mission to see as many people as possible come to know Jesus as their personal Savior. I know that in her death and legacy, even more people will come to a saving faith in Christ. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt her desire for me would be to continue what we’ve started here in Indy. I hold firm to the belief that God is still good, that He takes our tragedy and turns it into triumph, and that the best truly is yet to come.”

 

These were the words that the popular blogger, MPT, referred to earlier this week when he took to his Facebook page, followed by thousands, to call into question the role Davey Blackburn may have played in his wife’s death.

This blogger, who proudly notes that he writes for The Daily Beast,  has developed a cult-like following for his often smarmy, but generally wise-cracking criticisms of the church, of church leaders, of anyone who claims to be a Jesus-follower, all the time he is claiming to be a Jesus-follower. The implication being, of course, that because he is a Jesus-follower who is not afraid to criticize others he is far more authentic in his faith than are those he often criticizes.

Or at least that’s how I see it.

I could be wrong.

Still.

I did think it highly inappropriate when he took to Facebook to criticize a grieving husband and father. I can’t quote you exactly what he said because it wasn’t long after he put up the posts calling into question Davey Blackburn’s involvement in his own wife’s murder that I decided I was done reading this blogger’s work.

Before taking the drastic measure of unfriending, I wrote on his post that I didn’t think Facebook was an appropriate forum for such a delicate subject. What if Davey Blackburn isn’t involved in his wife’s murder at all? What if he is simply a grieving husband? I implored.

MPT snarled back, telling me that if I didn’t think it was appropriate forum then why participate in the discussion at all. When another commenter suggested that, yeah, it would be awful if Davey Blackburn weren’t involved in his wife’s murder to be having such a discussion, MPT replied that he shouldn’t let the grief police shame him over his comments questioning the widowed pastor’s potential involvement.

Clearly, the grief-police comment was aimed at me.

I let MPT know that yeah, he was right. I needed to bow out of the conversation and go my own way.

Social Media is only a tool. We are the people who get to decide whether to use the hoe to plant a garden, or to use a hoe to beat somebody to death.

I admit that I am old enough to be MPT’s mother, and in the minds of many 30-somethings, that makes me irrelevant. An old woman with old sensibilities. That said, the damage bloggers like MPT can do to the reputations of the unsuspecting is enormous.

As it turns out, Davey Blackburn is a grieving husband whose inadequate words of grief became the torch by which MPT lit fire to a pastor’s repuation during one of the darkest periods of any person’s life.

Davey Blackburn lost his wife and his daughter to a violent home invasion. Instead of calling us to question the pastor’s involvement, shouldn’t MPT have used his substanial platform to call us all into prayer for the Blackburn family?

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of Burdy (Mercer University Press). 

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

19 Comments

Susie Finkbeiner

about 4 years ago

I had a bit of a run-in with the same blogger about a year ago. It was ugly and I left the conversation feeling steamrolled by him and several of his followers. It was extremely unhealthy and I decided I was done with that whole group of bloggers. I don't need that kind of venom in my life. I will say, Karen, that I am a 30-something who values your words, wisdom, and opinion.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 4 years ago

Susie: I am so sorry to hear this. Yes, steamrolled is a good word for the sort of thing that happens with that whole subset of bloggers. I suppose it is inevitable. These people bankroll their lifestyles off of this sort of activity. Thank you for your kind words. I feel awful for Davey Blackburn and the entire family. MPT had no basis upon which to make such speculations, but in this day and age, truth doesn't seem to be the goal. Neither does being kind.

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sherrie

about 1 week ago

Ihave thought right from the start that Davey Blackburn had something to do with Amandas murder I do not know why I have felt that way as a born again Christian I was wrong but I have asked the Lord to forgive me but when you watch old videos of Amanda and Davey he did not want another child at that time and he seemed almost like he was the big boss of Amanda and also we found out at a later date that he met his new wife at that same gymn where he went often that seems strange could he been having an affair long before Amanda died I cannot shake these feelings but I must give it to God so I can have peace and if he has had something to do with this terrible murder God will deal with him and the truth will come out thankyou from a concerned Canadian

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AFRoger

about 4 years ago

The older I get, the more I wish we had tribal elders to deal with both MPT and the perpetrators of this ghastly crime, whomever they may be, as well as to support and encourage the living family and loved ones. Social media too easily leave us accountable to no one. The human family and human community hold us accountable for ourselves to everyone. As it should be.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 4 years ago

It is true that there is very little accountability. Tribal elders may not do us any good, however. It seems that our culture has made worshipping youth such a thing that elders of any sort are dismissed as irrelevant. Sadly.

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Katherine Coble

about 4 years ago

It's become apparent that this blogger is the left wing version of Matt Walsh. He stands ever-ready to throw other Christians under the bus.

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 4 years ago

So it would seem.

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Faye

about 4 years ago

I've know MPT for some time, having clicked because of our similar upbringing. I have laughed at his earlier writings, which were enormously engaging, then cried as he seemed on a rabid witch hunt for a PNW pastor. With sadness I emailed him, telling him that I live him and his family, but that I believe he has stepped outside the will of God. I unfollowed him and unfriended him. I would love to have a blog that makes the mortgage payment, but if doing so turns you into a person like this or Shaun King, I'll just be me, relatively unseen.

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Lucy

about 10 months ago

I've always wondered why he left the door unlocked at 5 am when his wife and baby son we're sleeping.? No disrespect intended. Just curious.

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John Barnes

about 10 months ago

He left the door unlocked so the killers he hired could get in!

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 9 months ago

Ridiculous assertion. Where are your facts?

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Emma Turner

about 9 months ago

I live in a neighborhood in 25 years havent felt the need to lock our doors are windows. So to say He left the doors open so these people can come in to His Home is absolutely ridiculous I was at church when he came back to South Carolina to talk about what happened with his friend Pastor Perry And to give Hope not to condem He was oboviously a Man with this horrible tragedy weighing heavy on his heart working through what he knows and most of us believe God has a purpose and a plan and he will work things out for our good he stands true to his word time has passed and Davey has moved forward not only for his self but for his new wife and her child I have had a major loss in my life I have refused to some house or lose because I feel like if I did I would be leaving my Son behind He is in heaven he just wants his mom to be happy some of His last words to me were mom everything's going to be okay it's going to be okay you just have to have patience. I Thank God Pastor Davey has moved on The old saying that sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me that one is so untrue because Sticks and Stones can break your bones but words can actually kill you how to speak words of wisdom encouragement and not defeat and I hope and believe you will be hearing more from him as his Minister grows and he was just more people for Jesus do whatever you think is it a loss I would love one that many people are coming of the Lord I have seen that so much my life for my father passed away people who came to us because of that take a good man like your dad it wouldn't take much for him to take me and I'm not ready to go but I am now my son and his short life we going meet people everywhere we with and as we have to go back and you call the person by name and he would say if I don't see you again I'll see you in heaven and I would say son why you say that say you never know we're not promised tomorrow we're never know when we may go and I guess he knew something I didn't I miss him everyday and I am still looking for that okay people like Davey Blackburn and Danny Gokey have taught me there is a tomorrow and God is a not finished with me yet so to all the naysayers say what you may the devil can only use it if we let him as for me and my House we will serve the Lord and we will look to the Future and we will enjoy the memories of the past Thank you Sirs for following Our Fathers Word Trusting Him sometimes we don't understand God Be With You

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 9 months ago

Emma: Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry about your son. I can't imagine it. I am thankful you have found comfort somewhere. I will say that MPT has written some beautiful children books. I believe that he has grown since this incident occurred. I trust that Jesus is growing us all. We all make mistakes and I think this was just one that MPT made. He has a good heart but just got sideways on this one, I think. I've certainly gotten sideways a lot in my life. And yes, I've lived in plenty of neighborhoods where we don't lock the doors. Thankfully there still are neighborhoods like that. I appreciate you taking the time to speak to your own sufferings and confirming for us once more that God's promise is to never forsake us.

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Kenneth Burney

about 9 months ago

Karen, I had the great fortune, of being part of Davey's family. In the late 1980's I was a homeless teenager, who had recently found my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Davey's Father, my youth Pastor, and his mother Brenda, took me into their home, when I had nothing. I was living with them when the joyous news of Davey's coming, was announced! Though I am now 52, I have been nurtured and loved by this family, who cared for me at my lowest. I can personally attest, that Davey has been raised by the most giving, loving, and REAL parents on this Earth! I remember going to Davey's baseball games, and watching how he encouraged the "underdogs". I remember my heart breaking as I saw him weep.. no.. wretch (if that is the proper word) for others... When he was so young. And yes, I still pray for them, as I had the God ordained blessing of being in their lives. Don't be bothered by those that speak without knowing... Pray for them as Davey, Joni, and Dave and Brenda would. They will always be the example of what The Lord blesses this Earth with. I'm so proud of you Davey. Remember what I said at Brookview? Hope you do. Much Love, Ken

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Karen Spears Zacharias

about 9 months ago

Ken: Thank you for sharing your testimony of this family. We always see things differently when we know people's stories. It sounds as though they showed you much compassion during a time when you needed it most. This was all around a horrific thing. It is difficult enough to lose someone to murder. The last thing we should do is declare people guilty before police have come forward with any evidence. We are bad to judge people by what we consider appropriate grieving.

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jeffrey lord

about 4 months ago

i watched davey speak today at a church in salisbury md. although the gospel was the primary message, he spoke at length about everything he went through. that man loved his wife, and i believe that he is a servant of god, totally sold out for jesus!

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Also Amanda

about 4 months ago

The Lord sure works in mysterious ways. Davey Blackburn engaged two years after Amanda’s death and the Church they founded shutters it’s doors. I guess the congregation could only stomach so many “forgiveness” lectures from Davey while he was gallivanting around with his new “love”. I also wonder if Amanda’s parents still talk to Davey? Probably not. I doubt they see their grandson either. Y’all keep patting him on the back though, it’s what Amanda would have wanted, right?

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PGMc

about 4 weeks ago

I don't know anything about the blogger but I do know that there was much reason to be suspicious of Davey's actions after Amanda's death. You might want to read how 18 highly respected detectives, psychologists and experts on statement analysis found Davey's words following the crime highly questionable. Go back and watch the videos Davey made before Amanda's death, read about his porn addiction and about the mysterious reason Davey's family had to leave Birmingham. There is much to learn before you decide to declare him a saint.

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sherrie

about 1 week ago

Davey Blackburn guilty

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