Two young black males murdered while preaching the gospel

SuftaOceanAmidst 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.


32 thoughts on “Two young black males murdered while preaching the gospel

  1. This is such a sad story! I would have never known about this story had I not read it on this website. Thank you for keeping us informed!

  2. Do your research on who owns all the major media outlets and you will find out there is an anti-Christ agenda. That’s why all of our countries leaders go to that Bohemian Grove and the media never reports on it…..

  3. I saw this a couple of weeks ago and was saddened and not surprised by the deafness of the elitist media! Hardly a peep could be heard for these 2 dear Saints who are now with their Savior….

    This could have been any of us…..I needn’t remind anyone hear of how ugly things are getting for God’s Children in North America!

    May the Savior rescue this man that did this horrific deed and may our Lord comfort the families of the lost ones as they suffer and grieve.

    Devon in Canada.

  4. Evil spirits are becoming bolder and bolder, Is seems as if every month there is a story of a Christian minister getting murdered. The last days appear to be upon us!

  5. Two martyrs for the faith. Pure and simple. I heard about this
    when it happened but there was no national media coverage of this event.
    I agree that if it was a shooting of two gay people by a straight person, you would have heard about it before now.
    The fact that it was “black on black” crime did not help. The media is used to black folks shooting up each other to the point that it is not newsworthy anymore. Regretably, black life is viewed as being cheap.
    This Jeriah Woody fellow sounds like a Saul persecuting the church. Let’s hope he has a Damacus road experience before he
    meets his maker with the blood of two saints on his hands.

  6. This is very sad! I heard about this shooting when it first happened. I know many of us don’t see these type of crimes here in America or at least they are not reported as they should be. But this type of crime happens all over the world. Our brothers and sisters are being persecuted and martyred on a daily basis. Check out

  7. This is sad indeed. Fox News reported it, that’s how I knew about it. I will follow the trial to see the outcome, this should be considered a hate crime because of race and religion. And sharing the gospel is never a mistake-this was a planned execution of innocent young men~

  8. Praiser4life, thanks for that link!

    I think many of us here in the States forget, or are just ignorant of brothers and sisters in the Lord who are being persecuted on a daily basis around the globe.
    So many times we’re concerned about trivial things, such as not getting the house that we always wanted or dealing with a co-worker who we think is out to get us, and we go into spiritual warfare and all that.
    But the real spiritual warfare is happening across seas, where skin is torn and blood is shed for the sake of Christ.

    Gcmwatch, thanks for putting up this story. The negative images of black men in the media are bombarding: black men killing one another, black men in jail, black men on the DL…
    Let’s hear about God-fearing, God-loving, compassionate men who are examples of what’s written in Isaiah 52:7, shall we?

    “How beautiful on the mountains
    are the feet of those who bring good news,
    who proclaim peace,
    who bring good tidings,
    who proclaim salvation…”

  9. The Word is clear we ought to “edify” one another and Angela, your response to this post, shall I say, “took the words right out of my mouth.” It was very “discernable” and though what happened to these two beloved was most dreadful, but its happening all over the world, in the deepest parts of Africa and Asia and I mean everyday. And according to the Word its going to get alot worse and it won’t get better until the “Prince of Peace” sits upon the throne of Israel. And may I say to expect the media to broadcast such an incident, well let me just say, its controlled by the “Prince of the power of the air.”

    But we must also be discernable to the parents of these two young men, who are grieving, and may not want to hear about the suffering of other saints throuhout the world, at the present the only loss they know about is the loss of two loved ones’. It is my prayer, that they allow Christ to sustain and strengthen them through this trial, and that the Lord will send “TRUE” comforters across there path. And that family and friends, who didn’t know the Lord, would come to know Him through there sacrifice. It is also my prayer that they not allow the seeds of hatred to grow in there hearts, which can become worse then the loss there experiencing.

  10. Tony Davis said:

    “But we must also be discernable to the parents of these two young men, who are grieving, and may not want to hear about the suffering of other saints throuhout the world, at the present the only loss they know about is the loss of two loved ones.”

    Tony, I understand what you’re saying.

    I was just reinforcing what Praiser4life said, about how this type of crime happens all over the world, which it does. I added onto that by saying that this is true spiritual warfare – going up against the type of unbelief that would have one murdered for the name of Christ.
    What I said should in no way be interpreted as somehow trivializing the death of the two young men we just read about.
    No way.

    You may be right in that the parents of these two men don’t want to hear about other Christians being persecuted and murdered around the world. I can understand that.
    However, I brought up other martyrs so that the reality of martyrdom is reinforced, and also to remind myself that life as a Christian in America can possibly lead to this.

  11. Dearest Angela, I wasn’t being critical of your post, thats why I used the word “discernable.” So that we may understand both points of view, if it came up for discussion, many may have misinterpreted what you said, and used it for a platform. Your friend.

  12. To me it’s a sad event, but also a glorious and good experience.

    Sad because people are still so violent towards the truth and the gospel of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Glorious and good because this should be a wake up call for all who name the name of Christ, including me. The Lord and his apostles said that persecution, including death, is something to look forward to as a believer. This just makes me check myself to be sure I’m all out for Christ.

  13. My heart and prayers go out to the families of these two martyers (sp?). I know that being absent from this body is to be present with the Lord, and for that, I rejoice for these two bold witnesses of Christ. Well done thou good and faithful servants!

  14. Amen Godlysoldier. Thats exactly what was in my mind. Well done good and faithful servants. Enter into the joy thy Lord. I hope that everyone will go to the legacy page and leave a comment encouraging the parents and the church they attended.

  15. If these were 2 Muslim youths murdered while sharing their faith, the media would have made this a much bigger story. But in this case, it’s 2 men sharing their faith in Christ — so the media ignores it. So sad.

  16. All I could do is sit here and cry, Pastor.

    Initially for the heinous crime and loss of life. Moreover, where was this story in the news?! Observer is dead… and so is Brit Hume. But then again, we have all been saying it.

    Christianity is America’s last great and legal prejudice.

    Thanks for keeping it real my brother.


  17. My heart goes out the victims and their families. I pray God will comfort and strengthen them. I find great comfort that these two gentlemen are in the presence of God. Martyrs for the christian faith is rarely mentioned in the pulpits today.Yet it is happening around the world especially in places like China. These type of killings will continue to increase as we await Jesus’s return. But don’t lose heart. Our redemption draws nigh.

  18. The media underreports on anything Christ-like and God-honoring. I know God has written down their tears in his book (Psalm 56:8). He will remember them and their sacrifice for his cause and will duly reward them. The media may shun God and the Lord Jesus now, but the time is coming where the world will know just who God is and that Jesus Christ is indeed–the Lord!

  19. Revelation 6:9-11 (New International Version)

    9When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed.

    As we draw closer to That Day, many more of us will be designated to lay down our lives for His sake.

    I trust that during this time of grief the family and friends of these two young men take comfort in the knowledge that they are “home” with their Lord and one day they will see them.

    Brothers and sisters at anytime we might be called to leave this world. I personally cannot think of a more noble way to go. They die on the job, being witnesses of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  20. Very sad!

    These men were doing some good for their community. Evangelizing the gospel so others will have eternal life. What is our world and in particular the black community coming to?

  21. Thank you for sharing this elder. This is a reminder of the true cost to serve our King. Thank God and Yes to his will and thank God for those who give all to reach a soul!


  22. This reminds me of Stephen in the book of Acts who was stoned to death for preaching the gospel. These two young men will surely have a great reward in heaven.

  23. Man, sad but beautiful story! Speaking of young people who are preaching the gospel, you ought to check out this newsite of young adult Christian believers at They give me hope that Jesus is still King of Generation Y!

  24. Pastor Foster,

    I was sitting here praying for the families of the beloved brethren and sisters that were lost in the brutal slaying in Nigeria. I was reminded of the bk of Rev., the great multitude which these five hundred and also these two young men and countless others are and will be a part of, asking the Lord when would he avenge them, and we both know he most definetly will avenge them “for vengence is mine sayeth the LORD.” But I received a burden from the Lord, reminding me of the individuals’ who took part in both incidents, you and I both know, “you reap what you sow” and God watches over his Word to perform in both “positive” and “negative” circumstances.

    But God, who is “rich in mercy” and oh how unsearchable are his ways, can take the individuals’ who committed these heinous crimes and turn them into “warriors” for his Kingdom.” I was suddenly overcome by this perspective, it may not be a popular one, but it is of God. For we must remember a young pharisee, who stood by and watched the brutal slaying of Stephen, and then went on a crusade himself, tormenting the people of God, but praise be to God, “whats impossible w/man is not impossible w/God”, took this young man, after his Damacus road experience, and turned him into what many consider to be the greatest Preacher/Missionary that has every lived.

    It is my prayer that these individuals, though they must reap what they’ve sowed, will also have an experience that will lead them to Christ and like Paul have the “scales.

  25. Not to be mean but the report did say that a motive for the murders has not been reported as of now. We don’t know if they were killed for thier faith or not. The report did discuss all the run-ins Ocean had with the law though. You nevver know, Ocean may have been paid back for something that he did in his sinful days and unfortunely Sufra just happened to be in the in the wrong place at the wrong time. I mean it’s a horrible thing that happened no matter what Ocean did back in the day, and I pray that they are at peace in heaven. God bless these young man for truly following the word of God.

  26. this is a shame but we know that the gospels goes forth by blood shed a lot of the times. this is not so much as evident in this country, however we do see it in rare cases like this one. may the families of these 2 God fearing men be blessed and strengthened in their trial.

  27. We often hear how someone died “doing what they loved,” these two brothers of mine died “proclaiming the one they loved.”
    I pray that the Lord of the Harvest would raise up more labourers for His harvest.
    It is only to be expected that the world treats Christians as they do, they hated Jesus and hate us too.
    That my brothers entered into His presence to hear, “Well done, my good and faithful servant, enter in to the joy of the Lord” is a thing for us to rejoice in.
    My prayers go to their family and friends.

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