Son of pastor shot by carjackers grieves attack on his ‘Superman’ father, brands shooters as ‘thugs’

Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr., (R) and his wife Gwendoline (L)
Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr., (R) and his wife Gwendoline (L) | Screenshot/GoFundMe

A week after Zionfield Baptist Church Pastor Clemmie Livingston Jr. was shot in the mouth last Sunday by carjackers as he prepared for service in Memphis, Tennessee, his adult son, the Rev. Keith Livingston, grieved the attack as “one of the most challenging” things he's ever had to face. He called the shooters who are still on the lam “thugs.”

“Now I’m sure by this time everyone knows that this [past] weekend [has] indeed been a trying week for our family. … It’s been a tumultuous week for all of us. It has honestly been one of the most challenging things that I can say that I’ve ever had to go through,” he said from his father’s pulpit on Sunday as the congregation gathered together for service for the first time since the shooting. “I can honestly say through all  … this struggle that’s going on in our life, with God’s help, we’ve been able to come through.”

Before coming to a state of calm by leaning on the wisdom in Scripture, Livingston said his initial reaction was a mix of anger, fear and grief over the brazen daylight attack on his father.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“I’m not gonna sit here and lie that I didn’t hit some low points. I’m not gonna sit here and lie that I didn’t shed some tears. I’m not gonna sit here and say I didn’t say some things that I normally wouldn’t have said. But you have to understand that I, too, am human,” he said. “I was afraid because it’s a hard pill to swallow. It’s a hard pill to swallow [watching] someone you consider your Superman get shot down by some random thugs’ kryptonite.”

The Memphis Police Department said in a previous report that Pastor Clemmie Livingston, who is also battling bone cancer, was shot just after 9 a.m. on Feb. 25 as he stepped out of his church before the start of his morning service.

“The victim was shot when he came out of the church as the suspects were stealing a 2019 silver Chevrolet Corvette. As the suspects fled the scene in the stolen vehicle, they fired shots, striking the victim,” a statement from the police said. “A second person who was outside the church at the time the car was stolen returned fire after the suspects shot first.”

Police currently have no suspects and have not recovered the stolen vehicle.

Gwendoline Livingston, the pastor’s wife, revealed in a GoFundMe campaign launched last Thursday that although her 71-year-old husband is in stable condition in ICU, he will need to undergo multiple follow-up surgeries to repair the damage from the severe injury. On Friday, the campaign, which has a $20,000 goal had only raised a few hundred dollars. As of Monday morning, that fundraising total was nearly $18,000.

“After undergoing surgery he was upgraded to being in stable condition and remains in ICU. Even so, my husband will be awaiting at least two more surgeries approximately six weeks from now and then a third phase and possibly more depending on the outçome of his healing,” Gwendoline Livingston wrote on the campaign.

She further explained that due to the severity of her husband’s injury, doctors had to perform a painful tracheotomy, and he cannot eat or drink.

The pastor’s wife told Fox 13 that he was not involved in a confrontation with the carjackers. He simply heard car alarms outside the church and as soon as he stepped outside the church to see what was happening, he was hit by a gunshot, and he fell.

“He never talked to anybody," she said. "He never went to anybody. He didn’t try to stop anything. He didn’t deserve that. He didn’t confront anybody.”

Troy Franklin, a member of the church who told Fox 13 that she was parked in the front of the church near the area where her pastor fell after he was shot, said she was a bit nervous coming back to the church for service on Sunday but she fought through it.

“And you know, it's scary," said Franklin, who explained that she had applied pressure to the pastor’s wound in the immediate aftermath of the shooting. "It just keeps playing in my mind, almost like a movie, just over and over and over again. And essentially, you know, I can't say I'm scared to be here, but I am nervous. But they can't stop anything."

In his message on Sunday which he titled “Stay Calm, He Got This,” the Rev. Keith Livingston talked about how scriptures helped to calm him down during a time when he struggled with fear after the attack.

“What it does sometimes, it put a little fear in my heart. But again, I’m only human. It was then that I had to come to my senses and remember what it said in the 46th number of Psalms,” he said. “It said ‘Be still and know that I am God.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.

Most Popular

More Articles