GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The spiritual stillness that filled the sanctuary at Renaissance Church of God in Christ would soon give way to grief at Patrick Lyoya’s funeral.
“God will be a very present help when we have troubled times,” said Bishop Dennis J. McMurray, senior pastor of Renaissance Church of God in Christ.
Lyoya will be honored at the church on 33rd Street in Grand Rapids beginning at 11 a.m. Friday. McMurray said he and his team have been preparing for the funeral since Monday and expect about 1,500 people to attend.
“It’s not about the attention but the intention, and we want to intentionally lift up the love of Jesus Christ to this family at this time,” McMurray said. “We’ll be there to encourage them.”
Lyoya’s family was thrust into the national spotlight after he was shot and killed by a Grand Rapids police officer on April 4.
“You never get over tragedies like this,” McMurray said.
The death has garnered attention from civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton, who will eulogize Lyoya and whose civil rights advocacy group is paying for his funeral.
“Rev. Sharpton has been a proponent of justice, civil rights, so it says at the highest level, Patrick’s life has probably touched the world in a way that he could have never imagined or that his family ever imagined,” McMurray said.
McMurray said he will not speak during the funeral but will instead serve as a master of ceremonies. If he were to deliver a message, he said it would be grounded in 2 Corinthians 12:9.
“When life doesn’t make sense, my grace, his grace, is sufficient,” McMurry said.
The funeral will air on WXSP and stream on woodtv.com.