*33-year-old Lashonda Matlock a blogger for Chicago Now wrote an open letter to her father Bill Adkins, a Memphis Pastor, that contained the words “Go to hell.”
The letter was posted on Chicago now and was addressed to Adkins who is the residing Pastor of Greater Imani Church in Memphis.
“Yes, I’ve read the letter and I’m sad to have seen the letter. I’m sorry she is enduring such hurt, suffering, and pain,” Pastor Adkins told LocalMemphis.com.
Matlock wrote some shocking allegations in the letter including the assertion that she was conceived from an affair, a claim the Pastor denies.
“First of all, I was not married. She’s 33 years old and that was 1979. I was not married. I was not a pastor of a church. I was a Radio Announcer at WLOK Radio,” said Adkins.
Matlock also added that her half sister Taihia Adkins, is the daughter of an affair as well.
“Wow, I actually stated that? We’ll then, unfortunately, I told a lot,” said Matlock.
Although Adkins adamantly denies ever having an affair, he does confess that his relationship with his daughter has been non-existent but is something he wishes to change in the future. “I want to do whatever I can to help her, and if it’s acknowledgment that she wants, I’m willing to give it to her. I responded to her in email today and I simply said, along with my other children and my wife, come to Memphis, let me introduce you to the entire congregation,” said Adkins.
“I am sincerely happy that he wants to open an dialogue with me, and we can discuss both sides of our story, and maybe that should be dealt with in family counseling together first, before we go in front of a congregation,” said Matlock.
And now, the letter:
There are times in life when you need to speak up, voice an opinion or just let it all out. This is one of those moments. I find myself at a crossroad, where the past and the present seem to meet and it is not a place I wish to be. Born in Memphis, Tennessee the illegitimate daughter of married pastor Bill Adkins, my life was nothing but controversy. I grew up in an upper middle class family that happened to be five blocks from my father’s church. He never visited, but I always knew he was there. At six years old I received a cease and desist order addressed to my mother for me to stop trying to communicate with him. At eight, he visited my elementary school but never approached me and merely watched from the shadows. By age ten, I was a figment of my own imagination. I didn’t exist, my last name was a lie and all records of me were buried in a black hole.
I learned to cope due to a wonderful mother and extended family who always made me smile. I never wanted or went without anything, even a pair of designer Salvatore Ferrragamo heels for my 13th birthday. I had a good childhood, but the lies kept piling upon one after another.
As I reached into my teens my face became the exact image of a man I never knew. I met other illegitimate siblings whose stories were all the same. Rumors spread and I became a topic at dinner parties and for bored housewives. I never wanted the attention, only to be a part of his life. To have a dad like everyone else, and like any child, to have a father’s love.
Like any privileged southern girl at 17 I became a debutante. It was the highest and oldest tradition in Memphis. It was something I had always looked forward to and squealed with joy at the mere thought of wearing that huge white ballgown. At our debutante orientation brunch I realized how cruel fate was and that this was another chapter in my story.
I can recall the exact moment when I screamed and fear took ahold of my face. The moment where I turned to my mother and begged, “I don’t want to do this, please let’s go home.” But my mother was firm and stood her ground. A woman who fought five years in court to earn me my last name from a frivolous paternity suit that stated I was 99.9% his child. A woman who endured the mocking grins, laughter and rage from an affair that produced me. But she had waited 17 years for this day, and dare I say, she even knew it was coming.
My stepmother walked into the room holding the hand of my half-sister, Taihia Adkins. Taihia is the same age as me and knew nothing of my existence but at the same time she knew nothing of hers. She was also the daughter of an affair. An act covered up and made to look like an adoption, but that was not the truth. The adoption was due to Bill’s first wife, known lovingly as “Big Tai”, could never have kids. I felt sadness looking into her eyes because we were in many ways the exact same.
After a few debutante outings, I felt the courage to tell her who I was. Needless to say, it was a disaster.
Read the rest of the Lashonda Matlock open letter at Chicago Now.