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Home  |  News  |  Search continues for man who robbed a Beaufort minister at gunpoint

Search continues for man who robbed a Beaufort minister at gunpoint

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - What happened outside of the Parish Church of St. Helena is something Reverend Chad Lawrence will never forget.

"He came from this area over here and he was very fast," said Rev. Lawrence. "There was really no time to react. That's when he put the gun to the back of my head and he wanted my keys and wallet, which I didn't have on me."

Reverend Lawrence says the man then forced him inside the church offices to retrieve his keys.

"I gave him the keys at that point with a gun to my head, he put me on the ground face down on the floor here, took off my belt and tied my hands behind my back and stood behind me and said, now give me three reasons why I shouldn't kill you right now," said Lawrence.

With God's guidance, he says he responded.

"I have a wife and three children I love very much and I said I'm here doing God's work and I said if you do kill me you'll have to answer to him and there was a pause and he was fumbling and he said are you sure about that and I said yes," said Lawrence.

While the robber spaired his life, the nightmare wasn't over.

"He took an extention cord on the floor," said Lawrence. "He tied my hands and feet back behind me so I couldn't move my hands or my feet. I heard him clicking the gun a little bit and he put the gun to my head and he said I'll be back and ran out of my office."

Lawrence says the man then came outside the church offices, went into his car and stole his wallet.

Meanwhile, Rev Lawrence managed to break free and called 9-11. When police arrived, the man fled on foot. While it was certainly a horrible situation, Lawrence says his faith got him through.

"God was with me in a terrible storm and I knew he was there and in control so I find it stregthened my faith," said Lawrence.

In fact, Rev. Lawrence preached all three sermons on Sunday.

"It was about peace, the peace God gives, the repentance, the forgiveness he brings and I figued I had prepared the sermon and I might as well give it," said Lawrence.

Reverend Lawrence shared his story to help bring awareness to what happened because he wants to make sure no one else ever has to go through what he had to.

Police are still searching for the suspect. If you have any information, please call Beaufort Police at 843-322-7960 or non emergency dispatch at 843-524-2777.

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 554-1111, toll free at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or online at Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPCSL". Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.


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