Ex-Addict Who Became Prominent Pastor Found Dead in Church

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ex-Addict Turned Pastor Found Dead in Church.

IRVINGTON, N.J. (AP) — A former heroin addict who turned to religion and became a prominent pastor after he was released from prison was found dead Friday in the church where he preached and ministered to those who walked in his shoes. He was known for visiting the sick at all hours. “He didn’t make apologies for what he was — he knew he had a higher calling,” said Hunter. “One-hundred precent of what he preached was about not being perfect.” LOUIS • Police have made an arrest in connection with a two-week string of church arsons, most of which occurred at places of worship in black neighborhoods, the Post-Dispatch has learned. Broke and desperate, she confessed that she and her five children were facing eviction if they could not pay their rent. “Reverend Ron reached in his back pocket and reached for the envelope and gave it to this lady,’ said Lewis. “He said ‘God has blessed me too much for me to be stingy.'” Though momentarily taken aback, Lewis said he was hardly surprised at the generosity shown by Christian, the prominent pastor of Christian Love Baptist Church who died suddenly Friday morning at the age of 51.

Outpourings of love and support came from all corners of the Newark area Friday to honor Christian, whose generosity was matched only by his seemingly limitless energy and compassion. Burton, of New Northside Missionary Baptist Church, in Jennings, said the congregation was waiting to repair its doors until a suspect was in custody. On the church sign, where scripture is often quoted, Burton decided the message instead be: “Church fires must stop.” New Northside was struck Oct. 10. “I feel like it’s an answer to prayer. In a statement, Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. said Christian’s energetic sermons, dynamic personality and kind words inspired everyone he met. “It didn’t matter who you were because Rev.

He began visiting local rehab clinics and homeless shelters, and developed a reputation as an energetic, fiery preacher with seemingly limitless compassion. Despite his conversion to a life of morality, friends and parishioners say his checkered past was never far from his mind or his sermons — exemplified by the large “All Sinners Welcome” sign posted outside his church.

Augustine has not yet received bids, but damage is easily in the thousands of dollars, he said. “These are substantially big doors, about 15 feet high, at least three inches thick. The variety of denominations and types of structures targeted included Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist and nondenominational congregations — four on the north side of St. After some prayer and conversation, many opted to turn themselves in. “He wanted to be a conduit between police and troubled youth in the community,” said former Newark Police Director Samuel Demaio, who now holds the same post in Bloomfield. “He did it with a real careful balance. He was able to befriend both law enforcement and some of the people involved in criminal activity in the street.” By 9 a.m. this morning, more than 100 people had gathered outside Christian Love church as word of his death spread.

Anthony Ambrose, chief of detectives for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, said a family member found Christian unresponsive at the Lyons Avenue parish around 6 a.m. The first six churches were within about five miles of each other, and sustained varying levels of damage from fires set at their front doors from Oct. 8 to 18.

Louis Regional CrimeStoppers and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives contributed to a reward fund that topped $9,000 for information leading to an arrest.

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