West Memphis pastor makes history, brings healing - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

West Memphis pastor makes history, brings healing

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC-TV) - A West Memphis minister is working to heal the strained relationship between the community and the police department stemming from the shooting death of a 12-year-old boy.

Rev. Gary Tobar is breathing new life into the church located across the street from where young Deaunta Farrow was shot to death by a police officer in July of 2007.  

Rosewood United Methodist Church will be renamed River of Life United Methodist Church, and Tobar's appointment as head pastor is historic. He's the first African American United Methodist pastor in Arkansas' Northeast Delta.

When the church changes its name on September 18, its members will gather at the spot where Deaunta Farrow died to honor his memory.

Members of the community came out to greet the new pastor Friday. 

Tobar says his efforts to help the West Memphis community heal will reach far beyond the walls of his new church.

"And there are some still-strong wounds that I think need to be healed," he said. "I'm looking and participating, that through this mighty move of God that River of Life United Methodist will reach out and help bring closure and healing to that process."

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