A pastor preaches for public action

Reverend John Paul Brown

By Lia

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Reverend John Paul Brown saw 17-year-old Marley Lion's life come full circle, right before his eyes. He baptized Lion at Mt. Zion AME Church in Charleston and preached at his funeral last Thursday.

"He was easy to get a long with," Rev. Brown said. "He just shot up as a little child to the size of a giant," he paused to laugh. "But he was very cordial and very open."

Rev. Brown said Lion is another example of a tragic loss of young life. He said these crimes are happening all too frequently in communities locally and elsewhere.

"I'm convinced that the only thing that happens in your community is what you allow to happen," he said. "People talk about these things, but the people don't do anything constructive about."

Brown is asking for the community to take a stand and say they won't tolerate the violence. He also believes that someone knows exactly who killed Lion and it is their duty to report it.

"There's no excuse, unless you have detached yourself from being an honest human being and allow such things," he said. "Whether it's a black person or a white person, we have to be active in the communities."

Police are investigating tips that have come in through Crime Stoppers, but no new details have been released in the murder investigation.

Rev. Brown says the surveillance video shows how violent the person is walking among the community.

At the funeral service, he said he preached to Lion's classmates about the value of life.

"Simply because you graduate school does not mean you are sure you will be going to college tomorrow. Anybody's life at any time could be taken away. You have to value it while you have it," he said.

He also delivered a message on behalf of the parents.

"You get upset when parents want to know where you are, what you are doing. As long as they are loving parents, they are going to do that," he said. "These are the reasons why, when you see what happens so quickly."