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Opinion | Another killing has claimed the life of a highly respected Memphis faith leader | Otis Sanford

Otis Sanford shares his point of view on the life of Rev. Autura Eason-Williams.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Homicides happen so frequently in Memphis, that it’s easy to become numb to them. But occasionally, a killing will strike a communitywide nerve. 

That’s exactly the case with the senseless murder of Rev. Autura Eason-Williams – who was gunned down outside her Whitehaven home during a carjacking on Monday. Two juveniles are now in custody. One of them, a 15 year old, is charged with murder, carjacking and other crimes.

I’ll let the police and prosecutors discuss the legal proceedings. This commentary is about the life – and life’s work of Rev. Eason-Williams. I did not know her personally, But since her murder, everything I’ve learned about her speaks to what a powerful force for good she was – in Memphis and beyond.

 She was a native Memphian, a graduate of the University of Memphis and Memphis Theological Seminary. She was the beloved pastor of Capleville United Methodist Church before being named a district superintendent of the Tennessee and Western Kentucky Conference of the United Methodist Church. More than all that, she was a highly respected faith leader in our community – who ironically was just about to increase her involvement in initiatives to help reduce gun violence in Memphis and nationwide.

As for her killer, hopefully justice will be served. But sadly, we have lost not just a strong woman of faith, but a lover of humankind who made this world a little bit better.

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