Flint parishioners, city leaders shaken by church homicide; they say ideas needed to stem violence

| January 13, 2013

FLINT, MI – Sharon Mixon said Saturday’s shooting that left one person dead during a funeral service inside a church on Flint’s north side is unheard of even in a city that has seen nearly 200 homicides in a little more than three years.

“It’s hard everywhere, but going into a church was crossing the line,” said Mixon, 50, of the shooting at Full Gospel Christian Church, which led to the death of 28-year-old Steven Lawson. The shooter was still at large.

Residents, church and community leaders were left trying to figure out what could be done to stem the violence that has now reached inside the city’s places of worship, typically sanctuaries for those seeking shelter and relief.

“People have lost respect for the Lord’s house,” said Randolph, pastor of Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, after someone shot and killed 28-year-old Steven Lawson inside Full Gospel Christian Church. “We’ve had killings now in the schools, the government and now the church. It’s out of control.”

Flint Mayor Dayne Walling expressed his sadness upon hearing the news, stating, “This latest homicide comes as a horrible shock to the community. The utter disregard for the value of life and our society is stunning.”

Flint resident Sharonda Goza called the incident “very, very sad” as she loaded up her children following a mid-morning church service at Foss Avenue Baptist Church.

“That mother had to bury her son and somebody else has to bury their child now,” said Goza, 36. “We have no morals, no self-pity where someone would go to a church and shoot somebody.”



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Category: Church Security

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