Local News

Congregation Mourns Slain Durham Deacon

Posted September 30, 2007

— Investigators in Durham are still looking for those responsible for killing an 89-year-old Bragtown man.

Family members of Charles Forest Davis found him dead Wednesday night on the floor of his 2913 Nellowood St. home.

Sheriff investigators said the church deacon had been stabbed.

The congregation at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church remembered the beloved deacon Sunday morning. He had been a member there for more than 50 years.

“People were calling me, crying and they just couldn't handle it. Just couldn't get over it, to be that age, to leave like that,” Rev. James Freeman said.

“He didn't deserve to die like this. No one deserves to die like this,” church member Robert Wiggins said.

Davis lived less than a mile from the Dearborn Drive church. Family members said it appeared Davis was killed during a robbery.

Investigators continue to pursue leads and said they feel good about the prospects for making an arrest soon.

“We have to pray for those peoples. They know not, they can't know, what they've done. 'Cause their life is ruined. They've took a life from us, so they can't know what they did,” Church Deacon Patsy McNair said. “He's resting right now, no pain, no sadness. He's just with God."

Funeral services for Davis were planned for noon Thursday at Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church. There will also be a public viewing from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday at Fisher Funeral Parlor.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the Durham County Sheriff's Office at 919-560-0900.


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  • casp3r Oct 1, 2007

    wveagleson= Of all people to dare tell others keep negative comments to themselves. Oh I guess unless it is your town right?

  • 68_polara Oct 1, 2007


    I agree that this discussion of Durham has no place here but your are your self engaging in it by providing misleading facts. Hear are some real crime statistics for North Carolina:

    Murders per 100,000 population

    Fayetteville 16

    Durham 15.5

    Winston Salem 7.8

    Raleigh 6.7

    High Point 5.6

    Source: Morgan Quitno Press using data from F.B.I. "Crime in the United States

  • mike honcho Oct 1, 2007

    what a shame to be blessed to live to 89 years of age, then to die at the hands of a couple of punks. my prayers are with the family, and I hope these thugs are caught and brought to justice.

  • wveagleson Oct 1, 2007

    This is a story about Deacon Davis and his life and death and not about Durham shootings. Raleigh has more shootings than Durham and Chapel Hill and the surrounding towns don't do bad either. If you are not part of the solution to the problem then you need to keep the negative comments about Durham to yourself.

  • skinnycow Oct 1, 2007

    It is always sad to read about someone being murdered in the news. It is a sad, sad day when our children and our elderly are not safe in their own homes. I hope they find the responsible parties and charge them accordingly.

  • packandcanesfan Oct 1, 2007

    It just breaks my heart to think of a much-loved, much-respected man to leave this world like this. All of the things he has seen and gone through in his 89 years and to die at the hands of scumbags with no regard for life? Just a sad, sad story. I hope they find them..and soon. :(

  • pwilliamson53 Sep 30, 2007

    Rest in Peace and hopefully those who took the life of this man will soon be caught and punished. Such a sad fact that you live your life, do good, and live right to have someone take it away for all the wrong reason. Thugs, society again needs to wake up and push for stronger actions and punishment toward these people who kill.

  • OSX Sep 30, 2007

    My gosh, 50 years in the same church. What stories about his life he could of told. He has been here since 1918. All that he has been through and seen in his life just to have it ended this horrible way. My folks are in their 70's and it scares me think about how easy a target they could be for a thug.

    My heart is with the church and the families

  • Nancy Sep 30, 2007

    So much senseless crime, violence...this past week a 15 yr old and a 20 yr old were shot, still haven't resolved that case or who shot them. The number of shootings seem to roll in daily from Durham!

  • mindyourown Sep 30, 2007

    This mans long life unfortunately ended in a terrible tragedy, it's a shame. RIP Deacon.