Amidst all of the madness we see and hear in this nation, for a moment we got a glimpse of what a saint is all about. Not the finery of church suits and hats, prosperity and megawatt cathedrals, not the capricious arrogance of the gospel music industry, but the pure beauty of the martyr of the saints. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Ps 116:15). I was so touched and empowered by this sacrifice I had to do my small part in honoring their weighty sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.
Heaven must have stood and watched on February 19 as two young black men in Boynton Beach, Florida were murdered while they were out preaching the gospel to a young man in the streets. The Palm Beach Post reported the story as two men who made the “mistake of preaching religion”:
Jeriah Woody executed two men who made the mistake of preaching religion to the 18-year-old, a witness has told police.
Woody, who turned himself in to Boynton Beach police Wednesday, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the Saturday night deaths of Stephen Ocean (pictured right), 23, and Tite Sufra (pictured left), 24, near the Boynton Beach city library.
He was expected to be taken to the Palm Beach County Jail later today and have a bond hearing Thursday. Boynton Beach spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said this afternoon he was still being questioned and she would not immediately provide information about a motive.
A woman who identified herself as Ocean’s sister, but did not want to give her name, said the two men, best friends, were ministers who were ordained last year and had turned their lives around after run-ins with law enforcement. She did not want to identify the church with which they were aligned.
“They go around and minister to boys and say where they came from,” the sister said. “They did that all day and all night.”
Jail records show no adult arrests for Sufra. Ocean was arrested in 2003 on robbery charges and in 2004 for violating probation on previous battery and petit theft convictions. He was arrested in 2006 for carrying a concealed firearm and resisting an officer.
Jail records show no adult arrests for Woody.
According to a Boynton Beach police report, a person who was with the two slain men told police that, about 8 p.m Saturday, the three were walking through the neighborhood, preaching, and encountered Woody under a tree.
They had been preaching to him for about 15 minutes when he received a call on his cellphone. The three heard him tell the person on the phone that he was “right down the street.” He then told the three preachers he had to go. As the three began walking east, they noticed Woody running toward them. The friend said he saw Sufra walk toward Woody; he then saw a flash and saw Sufra fall. Ocean began running and was dropped by a shot to the buttocks, the witness said. He said Woody then walked up to Ocean and shot him in the head execution-style.
Gary Cass, president of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission said the media’s underreporting of the men’s deaths is a sign of acceptable prejudice against Christians in America.
As of today, there are no national news organizations reporting this vicious murder of two innocent Christian men. Why?” Cass said, “I’ll ask this: If two Muslims, or two feminists or two homosexuals were murdered, wouldn’t the media be all over it? These were two fine young black Christian men shot by another black man for their Christian faith, yet the media does not seem to care.”
The media is very selective in how they feed news to the public, so the lives of these two young brothers given in service to God, probably wont register on their radar. May God bless the sacrifice of these two brothers. An online memorial for Steven Ocean has been set up. Please go by and leave an encouraging word.