Priest, organist recap terrifying ordeal

One of the victims of Wednesday night’s church yard armed robbery at Sharon, St Thomas is having a hard time making sense of the attack.

Sharon Moravian Church organist Carl Ifill and Pastor Ezra Parris were attacked by three masked gunmen in the car park of the church about 7:30 Wednesday night.

The two church officials had just arrived at the place of worship and, upon exiting the car, Ifill was stopped by a gunman who ordered him not to move. A second gunman stuck the firearm through the car window and ordered Parris to get out.

Ifill was slapped on the head and the attackers took off with his bag containing personal belongings, including his music for Christmas services, house keys, an iPad and a pair of reading glasses.

Still feeling out of sorts, the organist was back at work Thursday, but he told Barbados TODAY it was simply because he needed a distraction.

He said he was disturbed after the attack, and he was worried about the level of crime in Barbados.

“I think it has escalated where people have no regard for people’s property or for life . . . . Here it is, it happens right in a churchyard,” Ifill lamented.

While Ifill said he was distraught and terrified by the ordeal, Parris said the organist remained cool throughout, attributing Ifill’s calmness to his faith.

Parris also expressed concern about the level and types of crimes here, saying the robbers had demonstrated a total lack of respect for life.

He added that the Church was under pressure to “keep their mouth shut” on social issues.

“We are in a time when people are looking at the Church as though it’s a problem . . . or the root of some of societal problems . . . [some Barbadians] believe the Church should carry on with the religion and keep their mouths shut.

“The problem becomes that there is no moral voice. The Church has historically served that purpose of stirring a moral conscience, and with the absence of that . . . you then have a generation that doesn’t have that moral grounding,” Parris contended.

The priest said after the shooting last year in a church in Charleston, South Carolina in the United States in which nine people were killed, he decided to install security cameras at Sharon Moravian Church. He plans to make it a priority following Wednesday night’s attack.

Police are asking anyone with information that can assist with their investigation into the attack to contact police emergency number 211, Crime Stoppers at 1800 (TIPS) 8477, the District ‘D’ Police Station at 4191729, 419-1726, or the nearest police station.

Lawmen have also called on the public to be on their guard during the Yuletide season. Simple safety tips can include:

When parking your vehicle to go shopping, or participating in other activities, avoid parking in remote areas, and park in lit and travelled areas.

When returning to your vehicle, scan the interior of your vehicle to be sure that no one is hiding inside, or that you were not followed.

When exiting your vehicle, scan the surroundings to be sure that persons are not lurking on the outside.

Have your keys in your hand when approaching your vehicle to avoid delays by fumbling and looking for your keys.

Do not resist if someone tries to take your property.

Do not chase someone who robs you, they may have a weapon, instead call 211.

Source: (KW)

5 Responses to Priest, organist recap terrifying ordeal

  1. Jennifer December 23, 2016 at 12:50 am

    I do not know why some one would think that in the church yard would be exempt from thievery.

    Reply
  2. Fr. Marcus Lashley December 23, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I would like to extend best wishes and prayerful support to Rev. Parris, Mr. Ifill and the lovely people at Sharon. I stand in solidarity with you. In a civilized society, it is not unreasonable to assume that sacred spaces should remain inviolate sanctuaries. When no one and no place is assumed to be safe, then that society is one step away from lawless barbarism!

    Reply
  3. Cortroy Jarvis December 23, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I’m just reading this article from Antigua. As Chairman of the Moravian Church Eastern West Indies Province, I want to express thanks to God that our brothers were not physically injured. Mentally and emotionally there are some scars but your life is worth more than a few dollars. My brothers, we are in the line of fire. Hold on to God’s unchanging hand and bless rather than curse. Blessed Christmas!

    Reply
  4. Miche December 23, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    At one point you teach that the Law was abolished,,then something like this occur,,and you run to the said abolished law,,,what really do you people believe……The 10 Commandments List in Exodus 20:2-17
    “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
    “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
    “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
    “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
    “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
    “You shall not murder.
    “You shall not commit adultery.
    “You shall not steal.
    “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    Now tell me what really was abolished,,,not what you would like to abolish. with great consideration to Daniel 7:25:- He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.

    Reply
    • Miche December 23, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      At one point you teach that the Law was abolished,,then something like this occur,,and you run to the said abolished law,,,what really do you people believe……The 10 Commandments List in Exodus 20:2-17
      “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
      “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
      “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
      “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
      “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
      “You shall not murder.
      “You shall not commit adultery.
      “You shall not steal.
      “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
      “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

      Now tell me what really was abolished,,,not what you would like to abolish. with great consideration to Daniel 7:25:- He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.

      Becareful ,,your chickens are coming home to roost.

      Reply

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