Sat | Apr 4, 2020

Businessman killed in churchyard was seeking refuge, says pastor

Published:Monday | February 24, 2020 | 12:19 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
(From left) Bishop Everton Thomas, Dr Donovan Thomas, Faith Thomas, Meta Dunn, and Pastor Dr Kevin White, Jamaica Constabulary Force Area Four deputy chaplain, pose behind a floral tribute for slain businessman Wayne Stanbury, at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Slipe Road in Kingston yesterday. Photo by Jason Cross
(From left) Bishop Everton Thomas, Dr Donovan Thomas, Faith Thomas, Meta Dunn, and Pastor Dr Kevin White, Jamaica Constabulary Force Area Four deputy chaplain, pose behind a floral tribute for slain businessman Wayne Stanbury, at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Slipe Road in Kingston yesterday. Photo by Jason Cross

After a brazen attempt on his life four months ago when close to 20 bullets were fired into his motor vehicle by gunmen, injuring him, 50-year-old businessman Wayne Stanbury, who was killed at church last week Sunday, had been inching closer and closer to God.

Stanbury was murdered around 8:25 a.m. by an unknown assailant upon his arrival at the Emmanuel Apostolic Church on Slipe Road in Kingston, where he had turned months ago for refuge following the death of his wife from cancer and the October attempt on his life while on his way home in Linstead, St Catherine.

After the October attack, the businessman, who was boss of Berry-Don Financial Services, based at King Street in Linstead, relocated to Kingston and began worshipping at Emmanuel Apostolic.

Following the morning service yesterday, members of that church, including senior bishop Everton Thomas, engaged in a special floral tribute at the spot where Stanbury was murdered.

According to Thomas, who described Stanbury as a champion, gentleman, philanthropist, and warrior, grief counselling units at the church, along with the Jamaica Constabulary Force Area Four Chaplaincy unit, have been working overtime since the incident.

Thomas shared that Stanbury’s move from Linstead to Kingston was perceived to be a precautionary measure.

“Brother Wayne had been visiting with us for several months. He never got saved at this church because he was saved in his teenage years. He never expressed fear for his life, but he did testify to the church and showed us his hand that was in a bandage. He had received counselling and had immersed himself in a Sunday school small group that was helping him to find solace.”

Bemoaning that three children were made orphans following Stanbury’s killing and the prior death of his wife, Thomas pointed to the society’s lack of respect for God and places of worship, saying, “Values and attitudes have gone down, down, down.

“At first, some of the members thought there was a robbery in progress. Some thought the gunshot sounds came from behind the church,” he said.

jason.cross@gleanerjm.com