Wednesday, 7 October 2020

HOT-BUTTON ISSUE: Who was Rev. Larius Lewis? – The shocking murder of a young Anglican priest

HIGHER CALLING: Persons who knew him says Rev. Lewis was a "warm" and "caring" individual.

JUDGING by a few of his photos found via a quick Google search, Larius Lewis was a man who enjoyed life as a priest in his own simple, unfussy way. You can tell he was the kind of person who was slow to anger. Here he is, reflecting light, as he serves Holy Communion in church. There he is in a group shot, bonding with his fellow clergymen. And then the real tell-tale photograph: Lewis seated in the great outdoors, staring back at you, his small, lamb-like smile pulling you in. A really likeable, handsome young man. 

So it really makes you wonder how and why he met such a gruesome end. 

On Friday, September 25, the lifeless body of the 36-year-old priest was found by church officials at St. Paul’s Cure Anglican, located in Chapelton, upper Clarendon, where he had been stationed as a member of the clergy. According to subsequent news reports, his body was discovered, with the hands and feet bound, in the church’s rectory. Persons who have come forward with information say they last saw him alive on Wednesday, the 23rd. 

But even more perplexing, the cause of Lewis’ death remains shrouded in mystery. Did he die of strangulation? Blunt-force trauma? The autopsy report should prove quite revealing. 

“Such a beautiful, talented soul has been violently taken from us,” one resident who knew Rev. Lewis wrote on social media. His fellow priests and church community members are also “shocked” by the tragedy. They say Lewis, who was affectionately called Larry, had a passion for music. He loved to sing, and he played the keyboard. 

A trained educator, he completed studies at the Mico University College and, according to one colleague, Lewis was in attendance at a teachers’ conference, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, earlier this year. 

Lewis was also active in the community, earning the admiration of important people like newly installed Member of Parliament for the North Central Clarendon constituency, Robert Nesta Morgan. “He blessed my office and gave me good advice. We broke bread and prayed together. [I am] sad and upset. We will find the killers,” the MP wrote in remembrance on Twitter. 

What about the relatives? So far no mention of family members has surfaced since the news of the tragedy broke. 

In the meantime, investigations are ongoing by the Chapelton police and other Clarendon-based officers who are yet to make a breakthrough in the case.

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