UPDATE: from Eric Bonetti corrections to previous blog post. Adams did not serve as Rector of Christ Church (previous position) – and a plea not to rush to judgment.
Lately many news outlets have carried the report of a priest from North Carolina who allegedly pointed a gun at another driver in an apparent road rage incident. Eric Bonetti, a frequent contributor to the Café reflects what the church might do pastorally for the church he serves and for the priest and his family:
This [past] weekend the news media [was] abuzz with the arrest of Fr. Rian Adams, rector of Calvary Episcopal in Fletcher NC. The news follows allegations that Adams pulled a semi-automatic weapon during an incident of road rage along the Florida turnpike.
Before going further, it’s important to remember that we are only hearing one side of the story. Adams is presumed innocent, both as a matter of canon and criminal law, until found guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction. Further, we have scant information on the conduct of the persons in the other vehicle; if, for example, they pulled a weapon first, Adams’ response may be seen in a different light.
That said, this is a case that warrants both a fast response by the diocese and a thorough, deliberate response. And this may be our chance to heed the lessons learned from the Heather Cook case.
Read it all here.
For background on the incident and the priest, see below:
From Palm Beach Post
A road rage incident along a stretch of northbound Florida’s Turnpike led to a North Carolina Episcopal priest’s arrest this week after he allegedly pointed a handgun at another vehicle, according to authorities.
William Rian Adams, 35, of Fletcher, N.C., faces two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after authorities alleged he pointed the weapon at two people late Wednesday at mile marker 125 near Palm City in Martin County.
According to a Florida Highway Patrol report, Adams was driving a red Chevrolet Corvette when he attempted to brake check a Chevrolet Silverado pickup that was closely following his vehicle.
911 tape released here.
The new rector at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, N.C., spent 10 years in the military as a chaplain reaching out to and serving soldiers regardless of who they were or what they believed.
Adams, 34, served as a military chaplain with special operations forces for 10 years before an injury he suffered in a helicopter accident forced him to retire. He served for about a year as rector at Christ Church Frederica in St. Simons Island, Ga., before coming to Calvary.
The church welcomed Adams, his wife, Amber, and their son, Brody, with a reception after services on Sept. 11 and with the surprise of an old fashioned pounding. The tradition of a pounding involves people in the church bringing a pound of various items for the preacher’s kitchen including a pound of sugar, flour or other necessities.
Image from now closed Twitter account.