Local News

Second Congregation Mourns a Slain Deacon

Posted October 28, 2007
Updated October 29, 2007

— Members of Old Liberty Missionary Baptist Church in Louisburg gathered Sunday to celebrate the life of a 74-year-old man who was shot and killed while getting his mail on Tuesday.

It was the second time in four weeks that a Triangle congregation mourned the loss of a deacon. In both cases, the deacons were killed violently, and no one is behind bars.

Richard Gus Brown was returning from church when he stopped to check his mail outside his apartment on Wallingford Drive in Raleigh. An unknown person shot and killed Brown in what Raleigh police said was a random act.

"I couldn't really comprehend that our deacon had been taken away from us in that way," deaconess Mary Broadnax said. "It will just not be the same with him not being here on Sunday mornings."

The pain members of Old Liberty feel has been shared by the congregation of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church in Raleigh. Charles Davis, 89, a church member for more than 50 years, was found stabbed to death in his Braggtown home on Sept. 26.

The Durham Sheriff's Office said they suspect a series of break-ins in the area was related to Davis' death, but have not made any arrests. Likewise, Raleigh police believe a rash of robberies may be linked to Brown's death, but said they have no suspects.

"My prayer to God is that they cannot rest," Broadnax said. "My prayer to God is that when they lay down at night, Deacon Brown's face is before them."

Anyone with information in Brown's death is asked to call Raleigh police at 919-890-3555 or Crime Stoppers at 919-226-CRIME.

Durham police are asking anyone with knowledge of Davis' killing or robberies in the area to call the Sheriff's Office at 919-560-0900.

Until those responsible for the murders are caught, the members of Old Liberty will pray for strength and forgiveness, senior pastor Dr. Charles Murrill said.

"God has a purpose in all, and we may not understand it now," he said. "But as my grandmother used to say, we'll understand it better by and by.

"To be absent in the body is to be present with the Lord, so that's a sense of joy for us."


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  • Nancy Oct 29, 2007

    ahuber99 - the only way you can bring pressure to bear on both the complex owners and local officials is to get the media involved, expose it publicly as to the high rate if criminal incidents.

    Now, you'll have to get your neighbors willing to go on the record about those notices, document as much as you can and call local reporters and tell them the truth and that everyone is burying what's really going on with the trend in crime at your apt complex.

    Check police reports (contact DPD and see if they will release stats, they should, it's public record) and combined with personal accountings from neighbors will make a story.

    May I suggest Neff at the N&O? He seems to be the only real investigative reporter of local print media.

    Good luck to you!

  • Sessy - Italiana Oct 29, 2007

    What a shame.

  • ahuber99 Oct 29, 2007

    The previous story on this murder reported "Residents of the Wallingford Drive apartment complex said they have experienced very little crime in their neighborhood"
    I just wanted to say that is completely false. Every other month I get a new notice on my door that another crime has occurred in my neighborhood-- robberies, break-ins, car break-ins, assaults. Since the murder occurred right in front of my building, I have been trying to get out of my lease, but The Tapers refuse to let me out of it without mega penalties. They claim that nothing in the lease guarantees our safety so I cannot break it because of what happened. I feel this unjust. Does this mean the poor man's family cannot move out either? I live there alone and now I am especially afraid to go out at night.

  • Nancy Oct 29, 2007

    Daily acts of senseless violence, becoming commonplace.

    When will the judicial system decide that taking another person's life means those caught will never see freedom again?

  • CestLaVie Oct 29, 2007

    Amen, gnew46. It's impossible to understand such violence & senseless acts, especially on the elderly and children. May God have mercy on us all who believe in Him.

  • bronzegoddess40 Oct 28, 2007

    Sad, sad, sad. I hope that they will catch who has committed these two senseless murders. I have parents in the same age group and I am constantly checking on them and making sure they are okay. I hope capture comes soon. I am praying for all families with elderly parents and love ones.

  • OSX Oct 28, 2007

    It is sad when the youth have no regard for the elderly. These are the people that should be revered and taken care of. The children are the people that are new and are to be shaped into the people the revere the elderly. My heart goes out to all.

  • gnew46 Oct 28, 2007

    I sincerley regret the loss of life of these two good men. May the Lord be with their families and friends during this time of loss.

    May those who committed these senseless and murderous acts be judged in the same manner as they judged two innocent men.

  • Lit Oct 28, 2007

    Its sad when anyone is senselessly murdered, but especially the elderly and children. Best of wishes to this man's family, and church congregation.

  • jetset Oct 28, 2007

    What is so sad is the fact that these good men had lived a long life and to have it ended in such a cruel way. God rest their souls and may the family find comfort in knowing that they are in God's house now.