Gun-toting pastor in Corvette latest exemplar of Florida road rage


Somebody needs to say some kind words about the visiting Episcopal priest who booked a room briefly at the Martin County Jail.

The Very Reverend William Rian Adams was apparently on a road trip from North Carolina in his red Corvette last week when he waved his Glock 22 handgun at two people in a pickup truck on Florida’s Turnpike near Palm City.

As it almost says in Proverbs: “Be thou diligent to know the state of thy Glocks.”

The two Floridians in the pickup truck who were receiving the Very Reverend Adams’ silent sermon phoned the Florida Highway Patrol, in hopes of avoiding gunfire and brimstone. Moments later, a trooper pulled over the gun-slinging pastor and charged him with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

MORE FROM FRANK: Fear Trumps decency in deporting Palm Beach pizza restaurant manager

As it says in Ecclesiastes, “Wisdom is better than weapons of war.”

But that’s not taking into account the Very Reverend’s contention that the Florida pickup truck occupants threw a soda bottle at his sports car.

Which reminds me of the Florida highway scripture, “Let him who is without firearms cast the first Mountain Dew.”

The alleged victims in this case, Sharon Hughes, 54, and her driver son, Christopher, 24, were from the holy city of St. Cloud, near Orlando. And they have a different version of the Very Reverend’s actions that night.

“He came up on the side of us and went right on the front of us and slammed on his brakes right away,” Hughes said. “We’re not sure where he came from. He came flying up in the left-hand lane.”

It must have been quite a Revelation: “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, ‘Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth’ … er, I mean ‘the pickup truck.’”

Anyway, this was all very biblical. Hughes and her son were on their way to visit a sick relative — Leprosy? Just a guess — when they encountered the gun-toting cleric.

“Everything just happened so fast,” the mother said. “He was cursing and he pulled his gun. It’s as simple as that.”

As the Bible almost says in Deuteronomy, “Cursed be he who driveth too slow in thy laneth.”

The Very Reverend has retained a higher authority when it comes to Florida criminal law.

“After all is said and done, we are confident that Mr. Adams will be completely exonerated in this matter. He is innocent,” his attorney, Brian Mallonee, of Fort Pierce, said.

And I don’t doubt it.

For as the Good Book says, “If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, that the judges may judge them; then they shall justify the righteous, and condemn the wicked.”

Or at least offer an attractive plea bargain to somebody with no priors.

Besides, the Very Reverend is hardly the first pastor in these parts to find himself embroiled in a road adventure.

The Extremely Reverend Bishop Thomas Masters, who doubles as the mayor of Riviera Beach, is in the midst of another one of his car capers — this time for speeding and driving with an expired license. In the past, Masters has been cited for speeding, driving through red lights, parking on the sidewalk, and driving with an expired tag and no car insurance.

All dropped, he proclaims. It’s a miracle!

So a little black-collar road rage isn’t exactly going to rock our ark here. 

But there’s no telling how the flock at Calvary Episcopal Church in Fletcher, North Carolina, a town of about 7,000 people, is going to take their pastor’s Florida felony road trip. The mountains of Western North Carolina are a long way from Miami Vice.

And for a simple country priest, I’m guessing the red Corvette’s bound to take more preach-splainin’ than the handgun.

For as it says in Psalms, or at least should say: “Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble … and got them a Corvette, and make it red while you’re at it, dear Lord.”

At least it wasn’t a Lamborghini.



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