Rev. Elwood Gallimore, ineffective at 73 | Neighborhood Information

Rev. Elwood Gallimore, ineffective at 73 | Neighborhood Information

A Henry County pastor who not solely preached polygamy, however practiced it, has handed away.

A Henry County pastor who not solely preached polygamy, however practiced it, has handed away.

The Rev. Elwood H. Gallimore, 73, of Martinsville, died on Thursday on the Atrium Wellness-Wake Forest Baptist Hospital, in accordance to an obituary from Bassett Funeral Help.

Gallimore’s story turned nationwide data in January 1993 when it was discovered that, along with his 42-yr-previous legally married spouse, he had taken a 16-calendar year-old feminine in his congregation of Evangelistic Tabernacle in Bassett as his subsequent spouse.

The Virginia State Police commenced investigating and seized above 400 videotapes of suppliers on the church.

When the investigation was concluded, police recognized that Sabrina Simpkins was in extra of the age of consent and even supposing Gallimore talked about he skilled married her “within the eyes of God,” he was not married to her lawfully.

So that they noticed a statute of seduction round a century earlier that makes it unlawful to have sexual activity with a virgin instantly after making a unfaithful guarantee of relationship and slapped Gallimore with it.

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And so they billed Simpkins’ mothers and dads, additionally members of Gallimore’s church, with contributing to the delinquency of a minimal.

It was throughout this time that Gallimore advised the Washington Submit that Janice, his lawfully married partner, was hospitalized “for nerves” for numerous days quickly after he proposed to Simpkins and he didn’t lawfully marry the teenager to keep away from breaking the laws.

Gallimore reported on the time that he believed when a lady accepted a person’s relationship proposal, the 2 had been joined by God from that degree ahead.

“I requested her and I defined ‘When you actually don’t wish to, simply say no.’ That’s how easy it’s,” Gallimore advised the Washington Write-up. “She reported, ‘That’s it. I would like it.’ She was not compelled into it or pushed into it.”

However Bob Bushnell, who was Henry County’s commonwealth’s lawyer on the time, claimed not solely was Gallimore outdated greater than sufficient to be Sabrina’s father, however he was additionally the lady’s pastor and carried out a supervisory job in that potential.

Janice nonetheless left Gallimore briefly, however by June 1993, she and Simpkins defended their companion within the Floyd County Circuit Court docket docket previous to a jury and Determine Kenneth Devore.

Devore dismissed the bills versus Simpkins’ mothers and dads and when the jury couldn’t attain a verdict in Gallimore’s situation, the unordained “Brother Elwood” was “let out” as Gallimore claimed from the courthouse methods.

The gentleman with two wives was seen placing each equally spouses in his cherry-crimson Mercury Capri XR2 and driving absent.

“This isn’t the preliminary time a [nearly] 17-12 months-aged has fallen in adore with an individual older than them and definitely is not going to be the ultimate,” Devore talked about simply earlier than dismissing the associated fee in direction of Gallimore. “This isn’t a cult and this isn’t Waco, Texas.”

A number of months instantly after the trial, Janice filed for a divorce simply after 26 a few years of relationship and Gallimore launched that he would legally marry Simpkins when the divorce turned final. He married his teenage bride in March 1994.

Janice died in September 2007 and never solely was Gallimore detailed within the obituary as her companion, however he preached her funeral and officiated her burial at Henry Memorial Park.

Gallimore returned to the tranquil existence he lived proper earlier than the media frenzy and was witnessed sometimes shopping at a group retail retailer, and he continued to pastor and preach on the Evangelistic Tabernacle of the Lord Jesus Christ in Bassett.

His previous sermon on March 27, simply 4 instances simply earlier than he died, is posted on YouTube and displays Gallimore beginning his sermon with a topic he spoke about steadily: polygamy.

“He meant particularly what he defined and once we get God at his Phrase then all the things’s going to be alright,” Gallimore preached. “However as properly fairly just a few wish to put their interpretation on it when it meant significantly what it defined.”

At some stage, Gallimore apparently took a special spouse along with Simpkins. His obituary lists survivors as his wives, Sabrina Hope and Sarah Ruth, 7 children, 18 grandchildren and 13 fantastic-grandchildren.

The funeral for Gallimore will probably be on Wednesday within the Bassett Funeral Providers Chapel adopted by the burial at Henry Memorial Park.

Month-to-month invoice Wyatt is a reporter for the Martinsville Bulletin. He could be reached at 276-638-8801, Ext. 2360. Adjust to him @billdwyatt.