St. Luke UMC Offers Condolences To Booker Scruggs Family And Friends

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

To the People of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, 

From the very bottom of my heart, and on behalf of St. Luke UMC, I offer heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to those who knew and loved Booker T. Scruggs, especially to his family and his close friends. He was an amazing and remarkable man. Booker was a true role model, living out of his passions and his gifts.

He was no stranger to St. Luke. He made his first recording here and performed for many plays and concerts, often performing for our senior “Prime-time” ministry. Booker and his ensemble were a natural choice for our final Earl Miller and Sandy Sandefer Memorial Concert Series. 

On Sunday, June 4, no one knew what was about to take place as we gathered for the concert. The air was ripe with anticipation and the church brimmed with energy and excitement as folks settled into pews, old friends reconnected and new friends greeted one another. So many people from all corners of the Chattanooga area gathered in the sanctuary to indulge in some of the finest music this city has to offer. The church was buzzing with a certain Spirit. 

As we know now, that joy and excitement quickly turned to tragedy. Fear and sadness filled the room in place of the beautiful music for which everyone had gathered. However, in the midst of this traumatic experience, God remained faithful. Three nurses in attendance quickly sprang into action. The audience stayed calm and collected. Several firstresponders arrived and gave prompt assistance.

As Booker was rushed to the hospital, the remaining trio played to allow the ambulance space to leave without the interference of a flood of cars. Nancy Westmoreland, singing and playing in that angelic way of hers, brought most of us to tears for our dear friend. Even in his sudden illness, Booker unknowingly led a crowd to worship, just as he often did. 

On behalf of St. Luke UMC, I want to offer our most sincere gratitude. Thank you to all who assisted with such immediacy and action. Thank you to the first responders who gave aid and rushed Booker to the hospital. Thank you to the audience who remained calm and steadfast in prayer and to the trio who had the grace and professionalism to play music that calmed the crowd while their dear friend got the help he needed. What an impossibly difficult task that must have been. Thank you to the many folks who have called to check on Booker following Sunday’s event. And thank you to everyone who has offered up prayers, positive energy, good thoughts, and blessings. 

As we all mourn our dear friend, we acknowledge our very real and human loss. Please join the congregation of St. Luke UMC in continuing to pray for all who loved Booker T. Scruggs, especially his family and close friends. Booker has left this world, but he has not left us. For all of him that remains in each of us, we give thanks. For all of him that has made us and shaped us into who we are, we give thanks. Before he was ours, he was and always will be God’s beloved child. And now he has gone home. And one day we shall meet him again, by God’s great grace. 

Rev. Evelyn Harris
Pastor, St. Luke UMC

Russell Nelson Called As 17th President Of Church Of Latter-Day Saints

President Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has been called as the 17th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He succeeds President Thomas S. Monson who passed away on Jan. 2, 2018.  When the president of the Church passes away, succession in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints happens “in an orderly way that ... (click for more)

Greater Faith Temple Missionary Baptist Church Seeking A Pastor

The Greater Faith Temple Missionary Baptist Church is seeking a new pastor. Church officials said. "We are prayerfully seeking a pastor who is called by God and equipped to effectively preach and teach the Word of God. We seek a Baptist Biblical leader who will teach and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. The candidate must be equipped to provide Bible based training and committed ... (click for more)

Ivy Johnson, 23, And Cordarrius Johnson, 26, Shot Early Sunday Morning On Lillian Lane

Ivy Johnson, 23, And Cordarrius Johnson, 26, were shot early Sunday morning.   Chattanooga Police were notified at 4:39 a.m. of two people arriving at a local hospital with gunshot wounds. Upon arrival, police spoke with the two victims who were suffering from non-life threatening gunshot wounds. The victims arrived at the hospital via personal vehicle.   ... (click for more)

From Green Window Shutters To Forks And Spoons, Mount Vernon Restaurant Up For Auction

From the green wooden window shutters to the forks, knives and spoons, the landmark Mount Vernon Restaurant is up for auction. Marc Gravitt, of Gravitt Auction, said there will be an online auction starting Thursday morning and running through Saturday at noon. It will be handled as a "staggered close," he said. The first item will go first, then the second 30 seconds later, ... (click for more)

DACA Or Amnesty To Become The Majority?

As we have the political drama that we see in D.C. let’s be honest about what DACA is all about. We understand as the liberal policies of abortion, dependency on the government and an anti-American globalist / progressive agenda that many have come to realize these policies no longer represent their core beliefs and have left a certain party. Without an influx of new dependency ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What’s The ‘Super’ Done?

The headline on Jan. 10 in the Times Free Press read, “Report shows Hamilton County students still lagging behind Tennessee peers.” In smaller type underneath, the sub-head added, “Less than 33 percent of county elementary, middle school students read at grade level.” Then, just seven days later, this on Friday, the same newspaper bannered, “Hamilton County Schools superintendent ... (click for more)