John Feit, a former priest at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas, was found guilty today of murdering a 25-year-old parishioner in 1960.
My San Antonio reports:
A former priest accused of killing a Rio Grande Valley beauty queen in 1960 was found guilty of murder with malice aforethought Thursday after a jury deliberated for about six hours.
John Feit, now 85, sat stone-faced and showed no emotion as he was convicted of killing Irene Garza, a 25-year school teacher, when he was 27 and serving as a fill-in priest in the Valley. Family members of the victim hugged each other after the verdict was read.
Garza was last seen going to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen where Feit heard her confession. Her body was found five days later in a canal. Autopsy results showed she had been raped while unconscious and died of asphyxiation, likely from suffocation.
Garza’s grisly killing during Holy Week 1960 haunted South Texas for decades and was the subject of a 48 Hours television special.
Feit’s conviction brings an end to one of the oldest cases in the Hidalgo County judicial system, but leaves unresolved allegations of a deal cut between the district attorney and church leaders to stop the investigation into Feit and avoid a scandal.
As the Black Collar Crime series has shown, Evangelical pastors can and do commit all sorts of crimes, including — in the case of Missouri-Synod Lutheran pastor Christopher Gattis — murder. Gattis stands accused of murdering his wife, stepdaughter, and the stepdaughter’s boyfriend on Thanksgiving Day.
Gattis worked for and was a member of a church that believes “the Bible to be the inspired and inerrant Word of God and the only revelation on both beliefs and practice.” Lutherans believe people must persevere until the end to be saved (as do Calvinists). The difference between Lutherans and Calvinists, according to Douglas Sweeney, chair of the church history and history of Christian thought department and director of the Jonathan Edwards Center at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, is that Lutherans believe:
….the elect will certainly persevere in faith. God is not impotent to carry out his decrees respecting salvation. But not everyone who is born again is among God’s elect. It is possible for regenerated people to apostatize. So perseverance is largely a matter of walking in step with the Spirit, persevering, and encouraging other people to do the same.
According to Sweeney, Martin Luther believed that there were sins that could result in people losing their faith. Luther wrote:
“it is necessary to know and teach that when holy people—aside from the fact that they still have and feel original sin and also daily repent of it and struggle against it—somehow fall into a public sin (such as David, who fell into adultery, murder, and blasphemy against god), at that point faith and the Spirit have departed.” Luther, Smalcald Articles (1537), 3.3
None of us can know Christopher Gattis’ “heart.” For the purpose of this post, I am going to assume that he was a good Missouri-Synod Christian who loved Jesus, and the moment he committed the very public sin of homicide, the Spirit of God took flight from his soul and Gattis is now a sinner in need of conversion.
Using murderous, adulterous David as an example, Luther believed that when King David publicly sinned against God, faith and the Holy Spirit departed. Gattis, much like David, had a record of misconduct. In 2010 he was accused of public intoxication, and in 2012 he was charged with assault and battery. Kevin Defford, his victim in the assault, said the following to the NBC-12:
“He was on edge that day, was my thinking,” says Kevin Defford, who is the victim in the 2012 case.
Defford was delivering samples of a newspaper with his son and tossed one onto Christopher Gattis’ driveway.
“On the way up, he had come from his driveway and was standing in the middle of the road,” said Defford.
He says Christopher Gattis threw the paper at his face and started yelling, even going as far as to pull out a box cutter.
“The fact that he pulled the box cutter, it had me thinking about my son at that point, and that’s why the police were called,” says Defford. “But again, it seemed like he was on edge that day when I met him.”
Christopher Gattis was found guilty, but the charge was dismissed once Christopher Gattis paid restitution. Now knowing this man is connected to a triple murder has Defford shaken.
“Now it makes me wonder a little more um, what might have been,” he said.
It seems that Gattis has had several bouts of faithlessness. The good news is that if Gattis repents — telling God, my bad, Jesus. I promise never to kill anyone again — he can, once again, become a man after God’s own heart. No sin — no matter how perverse, vile, disgusting, or evil — is beyond the forgiving power of the miraculous blood of Jesus. For Gattis, restoration is but a prayer away.
Or is it?
Evangelicals love to talk about how bad they were before they became new creations in Christ Jesus. As anyone who has sat through a Baptist testimony time can attest, wild claims of depravity are quite common. The greater the sin, the greater the grace needed to save sinners from their sins. Over the course of the fifty years I spent in the Christian church, I never heard believers minimize their sinfulness. Oh no, the bigger the sinner, the better. This is why the history of Evangelicalism is filled with stories about people who were once witches, Satanists, and mob hit men before J-e-s-u-s saved them. Such people regale congregations with stories of murder, sexual abuse, demonic possession, sacrificing infants to Satan, and all sorts of perversion. Yet, Jesus somehow, some way, reached down into their wretched souls and saved them. (Of course, many of these wild testimonies are lies straight from the mythical pit of hell.)
Murderers present a real conundrum for Evangelicals. They know that David was a murderer, yet God forgave him, and he was considered not only a man after God’s own heart, but also a relative of Jesus. Evangelicals read and hear stories about murderers whose lives were transformed by the mighty working power of the triune God. This must mean, then, that murderers can be saved too, that even killing your family or strafing innocent men, women and children with weaponized drones is within the purview of Jesus, the savior of humankind. But, is it really? What does the Bible say on the matter?
Revelation 21:8 states:
But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Revelation 22:14,15 adds:
Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. [OMG! all dogs go to hell!]
The writer of First John said:
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15)
Speaking of reprobates — those beyond the grace of God — the Apostle Paul said:
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them. (Romans 1:26-32)
Paul emphatically states in Galatians 5:19-21 that murderers shall not inherit the Kingdom of God:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Did Christopher Gattis, by murdering his family, cross a line of no return? Has his nonrefundable ticket for the Lake of Fire been punched? Or, is there still hope for Gattis; that if he really, really, really says he is s-o-r-r-y that God will say to him, aw shucks, Chris, I forgive you. The Bible is incoherent on this matter, as it is with virtually every other theological, cultural, and social issue Christians say the Bible addresses. God said it, and that settles it, right?
Of course, there is no God, so flesh-and-blood humans are left with the unenviable task of trying to figure out why Gattis picked up a gun and murdered those closest to him. Was he mentally ill? Was he under the influence of drugs or alcohol? Did he shoot them in a fit of rage? If so, what caused him to be so angry? So many questions, and regardless of the answers, Gattis, if convicted, should spend the rest of his life in prison (and I know some readers think this is a death-penalty-worthy crime).
I grieve for those left behind in the wake of Gattis homicidal rage. And for those who attempt to paper over this tragedy with God, prayer, and faith? Child, please. Stop excusing bad behavior with nonsensical theological arguments and clichés. What’s next? — God needed more good angels so he used Christopher Gattis to send his family to heaven; that God always works things out according to his purpose and plan? Enough, already. (Please read Sutherland Springs Massacre: God Answered the Victims Prayers by Allowing Them to be Murdered.)
About Bruce Gerencser
Bruce Gerencser, 60, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 39 years. He and his wife have six grown children and eleven grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist. For more information about Bruce, please read the About page.
Bruce is a local photography business owner, operating Defiance County Photo out of his home. If you live in Northwest Ohio and would like to hire Bruce, please email him.
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The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
Christopher Gattis, a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church in Richmond, Virginia, stands accused of murdering his wife, stepdaugther, and the stepdaughter’s boyfriend.
A Virginia youth pastor has been arrested in the shooting deaths of his wife, stepdaughter and the stepdaughter’s boyfriend in their home on Thanksgiving Day, police said.
Christopher Gattis, 58, was charged with three counts of first-degree murder and three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
Police arriving at the family’s Chester, Va., home around 11:30 p.m. found the women’s bodies inside and the man’s body in the front yard, officials said.
Authorities identified the victims as Jeanett Gattis, 58; her daughter Candice “Candy” Kunze, 30; and Kunze’s boyfriend, Andrew Buthorn, 36. All of them lived together in the home, police said.
Neighbors said Kunze recently moved back home from Oregon, with Buthorn joining her. Neighbors also said the family runs a furniture store in nearby Petersburg, the Richmond-Times Dispatch reported.
Gattis was a youth pastor at Grace Lutheran Church, where he was a ministries coordinator for middle school and high school students.
“Members of Grace Lutheran Church are deeply saddened by the loss of life last night as a result of three individuals being shot in Chester, and this tragedy included members of Grace Lutheran Church,” the church said in a statement.
A November 27, 2017 Richmond Times-Reporter story by Ali Rickett reports:
A 58-year-old youth ministry director at a Chester church appeared in court Monday for the first time since he was charged with allegedly killing his family on Thanksgiving night.
Christopher R. Gattis faces three counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his wife, Jeanett L. Gattis, 58; his stepdaughter, Candice L. Kunze, 30; and Andrew E. Buthorn, 36, his stepdaughter’s boyfriend. All three victims lived with Christopher Gattis in a home in the 14900 block of Dogwood Ridge Court, according to police, who found Buthorn in the front yard and the two women in the kitchen around 11:30 p.m. Thursday.
It was Christopher Gattis who told the alarm company to send police, according to Elizabeth Caroon, a spokeswoman for the Chesterfield County Police Department. He was located outside the home and surrendered without incident.
Gattis was arraigned Monday in Chesterfield General District Court and in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
“Why am I in two different courts?” Gattis, who appeared by video from Riverside Regional Jail where he is being held without bond, asked the judge during his second arraignment.
Because two of the victims were family members, those cases were heard in domestic relations court, while the case involving Buthorn was in General District Court. They will likely be combined if the charges are certified by a grand jury and brought up to Circuit Court.
Gattis spoke clearly and calmly, though he hesitated at some of the legal questions, looking to someone off camera for prompting before answering. When he spoke, he tried to use his hands, which were cuffed together.
Both judges denied setting bond and appointed him an attorney, who can request a bond hearing later.
The title of this post is a verbatim statement made by a gun-loving, middle-aged white Republican who likely voted for Donald Trump. This man, a member of local law enforcement, recently attended a meeting that I happened to attend as well. Prior to the start of the meeting, several government officials were discussing gun laws and firearm restrictions. One avid Trump supporter happily lent his support to the President Trump’s lie that cities with stringent gun laws — Chicago, in particular — have higher crime rates and firearm-related violence. (Please see Gun Laws, Death and Crime, Is Chicago Proof That Gun Laws Don’t Work?Chicago Toughest on Gun Control? A Claim Shot Full of Holes, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.) The member of law enforcement chimed in with several anecdotal stories about gun violence and firearms laws, and then, uttering the most absurd thing I have ever heard come out of a policeman’s mouth. The man said, “Laws don’t stop people from doing bad things.”
Having business before this government body, I thought it unwise to interject my pinko-commie-socialist-liberal thoughts into the discussion. I thought to myself, just another day in the right-wing nirvana of rural Northwest Ohio. Nothing I could say would change hearts and minds, and saying the wrong thing could have a negative outcome for me business-wise. Later that night, as I sat in my recliner thinking about the day’s events, I found myself becoming angry over what the police officer said. How dare a man who swore an oath to uphold federal, state, and local law, and to serve and protect local citizens say that laws don’t stop people from doing bad things. If this is truly the case, why not repeal all laws and let the man with the fastest draw and the straightest shot determine social order and freedom. Is this police officer so blinded by his support of the gun lobbies’ misinterpretation of the Second Amendment that he cannot see the importance of having laws? Surely, he thinks we should have laws prohibiting murder, rape, robbery, and sexual abuse. I highly doubt this officer is a libertine. Born and raised in this area, this officer has been deeply influenced by the political, religious, and social mores of rural Ohio. Why, then, would he emphatically state that laws don’t stop people from doing bad things?
If asked, I am sure that the officer would limit his statement to the efficacy of gun laws. Why, I ask, limit making laws to firearm regulations? Laws don’t stop some people from murdering, raping, or molesting children. Is this reason, then, to do away with laws that make such behaviors illegal? Of course not. So it is with gun laws. It is certainly true that gun laws don’t keep motivated criminals from securing firearms. That said, limiting access to certain firearms, accessories, and ammunition, would make it harder for criminals to use them, and in doing so, would save lives. Outlawing semi-automatic assault rifles and high-capacity clips, along with having universal background checks and severely restricting handgun ownership would go a long way in putting an end to mass shootings, and would also, in time, reduce criminal gun violence. One front on the battle against drug addiction and opioid-related deaths is regulating/controlling legal drug supplies, and aggressively going after those manufacturing, distributing, and selling drugs illegally. We know that this is the only way to put an end to the opioid crisis, so why, then, do we not use the same approach to gun violence? That current gun laws are often ineffective is agreed by one and all. But the answer is not to say, fuck it, and give up on attempts to craft effective laws that respect gun owner rights while at the same time putting an end to gun violence. If progressive countries such as England, Australia, Spain, and Japan can drastically reduce gun violence through legislative means, surely the United States can do the same. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Japan has a per-hundred-thousand homicide rate of .31, Spain .66, Britain .92, Australia .98, and the United States 4.88. I ask you, in that set of numbers, which one stands out to you?
Laws may not stop people intent on harming others from committing crimes, but imagine, for a moment, a society without laws and enforcers of law. Imagine a world where all disputes are settled by violence, and the people with the most powerful means of violence win. Why, we would be living in a world much like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, or The Walking Dead and Mad Max. It is our laws and their enforcement that give structure and order to our society. Baptists should have the freedom to worship as they wish and not fear being murdered while they pray. Country concert goers should have the freedom to drink beer and sing tunes about women, beer and trucks and not fear being gunned down. All of us should have the freedom to go about our daily lives and not fear being murdered in our homes or at the grocery. The only way to protect our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is to have laws that are enforced for the common good. Until our political leaders stand up to the gun lobby and pass legislation restricting gun purchase, ownership, and use, we should expect continued mass shootings and gun-related crime and violence.
We, the people, have the power to stem the flow of blood in our streets. It remains to be seen if we will do so. Surely, twenty-six dead Baptists is enough to force the issue, right? Surely, the mass shootings and gun violence of the twenty-first century, when taken collectively, will lead to systemic, nationwide change, right? Surely, now is the time to tell the NRA to go fuck itself, right? How many more people must die before we demand Congress and state legislatures send the gun lobby packing and begin to enact comprehensive gun regulation?
Joe Kovac Jr, a reporter for The Telegraph, writes:
The trial was over, the guilty verdict was read and the former church pastor just convicted of murdering one of the two women he had simultaneously been engaged to marry shut the small Bible on the defense table in front of him.
At times during his four-day trial as his fate hung in the balance, William Claude Pounds III appeared to read that Bible and pray over it.
He stood accused in the June 2015 slaying of his longtime girlfriend and fiancee Kendra M. Jackson, a 46-year-old divorced mother of three who worked as a personal banker at the BB&T branch near Macon Mall. Pounds and Jackson had met at another local bank in 2000 and dated off and on for a decade and a half.
In the years before she died, they had been engaged to be married. Unbeknownst to her Jackson, Pounds would later ask an Atlanta woman for her hand in marriage. She, too, had said yes and Pounds had carried on relationships with both of his betrothed.
In the hours and days after Jackson died of a gunshot wound to the head, Pounds told investigators and acquaintances varying accounts of how Jackson had committed suicide.
The general story was that, in a fury over learning he was leaving her for the other lover, Jackson had grabbed his .40-caliber Springfield Armory pistol from his bedroom dresser and fatally shot herself in the right temple.
Pounds, 49, who had been pastor of King’s Chapel Memorial CME Church east of Perry, was a senior master sergeant in the Air National Guard. He worked at Robins Air Force Base.
On Tuesday, a jury of seven women and five men deliberated for about three hours and 15 minutes before finding him guilty of malice murder. At one point about an hour into their deliberations, they returned to the courtroom and asked to hear the 911 call that Pounds made the night Jackson died.
Near the beginning of the roughly seven-minute call, Pounds could be heard telling the emergency operator that Jackson “was trying to take the gun and she shot herself in the head,” only to rephrase that numerous times later in the call, saying, “I was trying to take the gun away from her,” and later adding six more times, “I was trying to take it from her!”
Pounds sat hunched over his Bible as the recording played, his head bowed and his hands clenched, thumbs twirling.
Other inconsistencies also plagued Pounds’ version of events from the night of July 11, 2015, when Jackson died on the floor of his Bel Meade Place townhouse just south of Macon’s Stinsonville Road.
Among the discrepancies were how Pounds told some people in the days afterward that Jackson had fired a shot at him, but did not remember whether she had done so when an investigator questioned him soon after it happened.
Police believe two bullets were fired the night Jackson died: one into Pounds’ bed, the other into Jackson’s skull.
Prosecutors believe Pounds made up his bed to hide the bullet hole in the bed.
Pounds also told a firefighter at the scene that he hadn’t been in the room when Jackson supposedly shot herself.
The varying scenarios of Jackson’s death — all attributable to Pounds, what with him the only one alive to tell — apparently didn’t fly with jurors. Nor would they with Bibb Superior Court Judge Howard Z. Simms.
As Pounds stood before him at sentencing, the judge said, “Mr. Pounds — and I’m not gonna dignify you by calling you Rev. Pounds, you didn’t earn that — you are a liar, you are a manipulator and frankly you are an outright charlatan.”
Simms rebuked Pounds’ litany of lies, telling him he had never heard anyone in his courtroom tell as many tales as Pounds had told when he testified and when he called 911 after Jackson died.
“I don’t believe that the truth is in you,” Simms said.
The judge said there was a price to paid for all that deceit.
“I sentence you to life in the penitentiary without the possibility of parole,” Simms said.
The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
A 28-year-old North Carolina man is facing a murder charge after allegedly stabbing his wife in bed — but the newlywed claims he doesn’t remember carrying out the alleged crime because he might have done it in his sleep, PEOPLE confirms.
Matthew Phelps, of Raleigh, called police distraught early Friday morning, declaring that his wife, Lauren, was dead on their bedroom floor covered in blood.
“I had a dream and then I turned on the lights and she’s dead on the floor,” he says in a 911 call obtained by PEOPLE. “I have blood all over me and there’s a bloody knife on the bed and I think I did it. I can’t believe this.”
He told the dispatcher through tears that his wife wasn’t breathing and that he was afraid to get close to her — “I’m so scared,” he said.
Phelps is charged with murder and is being held at Wake County Detention Center without bail, a jail spokesperson tells PEOPLE. As police work to determine the circumstances around Lauren’s death, Phelps suggested during the 911 call that cold medicine he took the night before might have led to his alleged actions.
I took more medicine than I should have,” he said. “I took Coricidin Cough and Cold because I know it can make you feel good. A lot of times I can’t sleep at night. So, I took some.”
He added: “Oh my God. She didn’t deserve this.”
Phelps and Lauren had been married for less than a year, ABC News reports. Both of their apparent Facebook pages are filled with wedding photos of the young couple along with pictures that show their shared love for Star Wars.
Phelps’ account shows that he studied missions and evangelism at Clear Creek Baptist Bible College. Lauren was a Sunday school teacher and Phelps was studying to be a pastor, a friend told ABC.
Lana Bowlin of Mount Vernon announces the engagement of her daughter, Marlanda Brooke Bowlin, to Matthew James Phelps, son of Melodye and Jason Campbell and grandson of Amel and Teresa Hardcastle of Bowling Green.
Brooke is also the daughter of the late Marvin Bowlin. She is a graduate of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and is a member of Calvary Baptist Church.
Matthew is a graduate of Clear Creek Baptist Bible College and is a member of Calvary Baptist Church.
The wedding will be at 2 p.m. Aug. 6, 2011, at Calvary Baptist Church, with a reception afterward at the church.
In an October 18, 2017 report for The Morning Call, Thomas McDonald wrote:
Lauren Nicole Hugelmaier Phelps was the victim of 123 stab wounds and cuts last month during a frenzied attack in the bedroom of her home, according to an autopsy report made public Tuesday. Her husband, who faces murder charges, contends he took too much cold medicine before falling asleep, then awoke to find his wife’s bloody body.
State pathologists documented 44 cuts and stabs, some more than 4 inches deep, about her head and neck during the attack, according to the autopsy report. Those were part of a total 123 stabs and cuts all over her body that were thought to have been made with a kitchen knife, the autopsy said.
Matthew James Phelps, 29, is charged with first-degree murder and is currently being held in the Wake County jail without benefit of bail. Phelps called 911 just before 1:10 a.m. on Sept. 1 and described to a dispatcher that he had awakened to the bloody scene.
Emergency workers arrived at the couple’s townhouse in northwest Raleigh and found Lauren Phelps, 29, in a fetal position on the bedroom floor, according to the autopsy report. She was rushed to WakeMed and died in the emergency department at 1:43 a.m., according to the autopsy report.
In addition to the wounds to her head and neck, pathologists found 13 stab wounds and 11 cuts about her torso, 16 slashes and one stab wound on her right arm, along with 35 cuts and three stab wounds on her left arm. A stab wound on the left side of her neck completely severed her left jugular vein and her left common carotid artery, which supplies the head and neck with blood. Her body was covered with smeared blood, according to the autopsy report.
The state examiners surmised that the wound patterns were consistent with a single-edged blade, according to the autopsy report. Toxicologists did not detect alcohol in the woman’s body, nor did she have any pre-existing natural disease.
This is the one hundred and fifty-fourth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is a video clip of David Whitney, affiliated with the Institute on the Constitution, blaming everything from racism to murder on evolution.
“As in all public schools, evolution is inculcated and it teaches that there is no Creator God and that everything in the universe came into existence by chance and mistake, accident and is wholly without purpose and without meaning of any kind,” Whitney preached. “[Urbanski] was taught that mankind, including himself, was nothing more than a long compilation of mistakes and mutations and chance occurrences.”
“We should not be surprised then if Sean, with that background and education, concluded that life is meaningless, without any purpose at all,” he continued. “Or, if there is a purpose in life, it would be to advance and further the process of evolution; a process in which the strong destroy the weak and indeed, ultimately, that is the purpose for existence. Survival of the fittest therefore has some rather dastardly consequences which we see in the murder committed by a secular humanist of a Christian young man.”
“Evolution is also the basis of racism, [and] many assert that racism played a role in the motivation for this murder,” Whitney said. “You see, evolution is essentially racist. So where did Sean Urbanski learn racism? He learned it in his classes on evolution at the local public high school that his parents sent him to and his parents funded that school by the payment of their property taxes.”
Police have charged a Calgary pastor in connection to the death of his three-month-old son back in 2015.
Cyrus Nel was found in medical distress in his family’s home in the 600 block of Taradale Drive N.E. at around 9 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 31.
Emergency crews rushed the boy to hospital but he died a day later.
In a Friday news conference, Insp. Don Coleman said the child’s father, 31-year-old Daniel Nel, had been charged with second-degree murder following a lengthy investigation involving consultation with a number of pediatric specialists.
“In consultation with the Crown, we believe the threshold for second-degree murder has been met,” Coleman said.
Coleman said the evidence police had “didn’t support” a charge of first-degree murder.
“It takes time to put the information together. There’s some judicial constraints we’re faced with around things like R. vs. Jordan, so we try to make sure that the investigation is as complete as possible prior to charges [being laid].”
Nel worked as a pastor at the Rockyview Alliance Church, but was put on administrative leave after police announced in April they were treating Cyrus’ death as a homicide and the church district learned Nel had been brought in by police for questioning.
Western Canadian District (Alberta) of the Christian and Missionary Alliance spokesperson Doug Balzer said Nel’s licence to act as a minister was suspended as of Friday.
“On Friday, May 12, we learned that Dan had been charged with second-degree murder,” Balzer said in a statement.
“Because of this development and the gravity of the charge, Dan will no longer be able to perform ministry duties for the foreseeable future and therefore on May 12 we suspended his licence to act as a minister. We remain in prayer for all involved in this situation.”
Nel’s bio on the church’s website states:
Origninally [sic] from South Africa, Dan moved to Canada in 1997 and has lived in Alberta for the last 11 years.
Dan’s heart truly lies in his calling to create music for the church and to lead people in meaningful times of spirit filled worship. Dan has had the opportunity over the last few years to record an album and share his music in many settings. Dan loves being creative, spontaneous and loves inspiring people. When Dan is not at work you will find him spending time with his wife Leah and their small pony (very large dog) named Bruce (Brutis Maximus).
“It is my desire to serve God through music and to serve and disciple people in the community. The Gospel message and the great commision [sic] is everything, without it I would be lost.”
Dan has been on staff at Rockyview since August of 2013.
Last Friday, Torace Weaver, pastor of King of Glory Ministries Church in Dayton, Ohio, was sentenced to eighteen years to life for the murder of his two-year-old foster son.
A Dayton pastor and his wife were ordered to prison Friday for the murder and abuse of their 2-year-old foster son, Stanley Thomas III, who died Nov. 18, 2015.
Torace Weaver, 38, was sentenced to 18 years to life for the murder and endangerment of Thomas. He was awarded with 253 days of jail-time credit.
Shureka Weaver, 40, was sentenced to three years in prison for child endangerment. She earned 18 days of jail-time credit.
Both were found guilty last month by a Montgomery County Common Pleas Court jury. A packed courtroom gallery watched Friday’s hearing.
Reading from the pre-sentence investigation report, Judge Mary Katherine Huffman said: “When asked about the victim’s family, Mr. Weaver said, ‘I am the victim,’ ” the judge said. “That is very disturbing to me, sir, that you categorize yourself as a victim in this matter.”
Huffman said the stories Torace Weaver told to police on video were “preposterous” and at no time did they explain the 20 separate blows to Stanley’s head of the serious burns to the boy’s arm and backside.
“This incident wasn’t intentional,” Torace Weaver said, apologizing to his church, family, Dayton police and Montgomery County Children Services. “Looking back up on the burns, yes, I should have taken him to the hospital. … And I’m just saying I’m sorry.”
Prosecutors said the foster child suffered a fractured skull, bruises, scars and burns. Initially, Weaver told police the boy fell off a table. Later, he said they had been playing “Superman” when the 2-year-old slipped and hit his head against a concrete wall.
“The case itself was heart-wrenching. It was a very difficult case,” said Anthony VanNoy, Torace Weaver’s attorney. “Your dealing with the most fragile of life — a 2-year-old child — and a person who has helped so many people in his capacity as a pastor.”
King of Glory’s website still lists Weaver as their pastor. His bio is as follows:
Pastor Torace Weaver was born October 19, 1978 in Hattiesburg, MS to Tonnie and Brenda Floyd. He is the only son lovingly surounded by four sisters. Of 40 grandchildren, he is the oldest grandchil of Mother Lizzie (Weaver) Hall.
At the age of five (5), Pastor Weaver was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost. At that time, he was a member of New Life Apostolic Church, in Hattiesburg. His move for the Lord drew his mother and sisters to church. He displayed the ability to lead others to Christ as just a small child.
In 1984, Pastor Weaver became a member of Magee Temple COGIC, also in Hattiesburg. While there, he received teaching and training for ministry under the auspices of the late Superintendent A.R. Magee. He was also a member of the praise team, choir and usher board. Pastor Weaver has always has a love for serving in the church.
Pastor Weaver, in 1997, moved to Dayton, Oh. As a member of Mt. Zion COGIC, he was under the leadership of Supt. Carl B. Norton. He served a choir director, praise team leader and youth pastor while attending Deliverance Temple Ministries inc., where Apostle Shelia Morrow served as pastor. He was an humble servant and also served on the usher and missions boards.
On February 21, 2008, God allowed Pastor Weaver to birth King of Glory Ministries Inc. For several months, Pastor Weaver and his daughter would be the only two in the building having church service as if there were hundreds of others members there in attendance with them. With a substantial membership today, Pastor Weaver continues to open the doors for Sunday morning worship, as well as Thursday evening services. He believes in living by faith and preached to empty chairs believing God would bring the people and He has done just that with room for many more.
Pastor Weaver was ordained an Elder and Pastor on February 8, 2009. King of Glory COGIC Ministries is one of many churches in the Cornerstone District, (Superintendent Louis Bradford). The district serves as proud members of the Ohio Northwest Jurisdiction under the leadership of Bishop Clifford L. Kimbrough Jr., Prelate. Pastor Weaver now serves as Chairman of the Cornerstone District.
An anointed man of God, Pastor Weaver’s mission is to win souls to Christ, set the captive free from the clinches of hell, to mend broken hearts and to help individuals become delivered from oppression. He strives to continue the healing ministry of Jesus Christ. In six years of ministry, Pastor Weaver happily leads over 200 members. He knows who made it all possible and of this, he says, “To God be the Glory.
Pastor Weaver attended Dayton Job Corp. and Sinclair Community College. He studied nursing and has been at Kettering Medical hospital serving as a Orthopedic Tech for the past 15 years. He is married to his first love, Shureka (NaTisha) Johnson-Weaver. He is the father of two children, Gabriella Weaver and his son, Torace Weaver Jr. (T.J.).
His expectation for his family, church and community is to grow higher and delve deeper in the Lord.
I suspect Weaver’s “expectations” have dramatically changed since he was found guilty and sentenced to eighteen years to life in prison.