ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ)— An amazing story of forgiveness. As loved ones bury one of two women murdered inside a church last week, several congregations offer to provide a funeral for the man accused in the killings.
Mike Hellgren reports from Howard County.
They came by the hundreds at the funeral to mourn and remember Brenda Brewington–the mother of two and selfless church administrator. She was one of two women gunned down one week ago inside St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City.
“She died in the process of helping someone less fortunate than herself, someone in need, and I think it’s important that we remember that spirit in her,” said Sharon Tillman, spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.
“Both of the ladies were some of the kindest, biggest, heartiest women you will meet, and they were all about giving,” said Craig Stuart-Paul, church warden. “Our Facebook page has been very busy.”
Among the postings from around the world:
“May God bring you comfort, consolation and healing. The church is grieving with you.”
“You are all in my heart and in my incessant prayers.”
“May God especially give peace to Brenda and support for her loved ones.”
Police say Douglas Franklin Jones shot her–and co-rector Mary-Marguerite Kohn–before killing himself.
WJZ has learned Jones’ life spiraled downhill in recent years. His once successful business was gone. He was homeless, getting food from the pantry at St. Peter’s and became angry when told his visits were too frequent.
“It was crazy. I don’t know what was going through his mind when he was doing it,” said Adin Bundi, who lives across the street from the church.
Jones lived in the woods behind the church. Police say the gun he used in the killings was registered in his name.
In their grief, several congregations have come together to forgive, offering to provide funeral services for Jones and counseling to his loved ones.
“In the end, we are a Christian church, and that’s what Christians do,” Tillman said.
The diocese says they have not yet heard from Jones’ family on whether they will take them up on their offer to provide funeral services.
The church called Brewington a woman of a profound and deep faith. She was 59.