Antioch Baptist holds memorial for woman murdered outside
Kourtney Dawson, 25, was shot and killed Feb. 26 at the intersection of Holloway and Guthrie streets, outside Antioch Baptist Church. A Creedmoor man has been charged with her murder.
Outside the church, a cross and makeshift memorial to Dawson includes flowers and a framed photograph. Inside the church on Saturday, a community memorial service for her was sponsored by Antioch, Bull City Outreach Ministries and Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham.
Those who knew Dawson talked about how she appeared hard on the outside, but once they got to know her, they loved her and knew she was vulnerable inside. They spoke of her love of turtles and rap music. They also spoke of poor choices she made and how some people saw her as a woman to abuse.
Towanda Jackson said that Dawson “didn’t allow many people to see who she was, but unfortunately let people prey on her weaknesses.” Jackson said that now Dawson is not suffering anymore.
James Tabron, a member of Antioch, said that he did not know Dawson, but in the eyes of God she is their sister. Others who never met Dawson also spoke and said that they, too, grieved her death and called for more church and community involvement to end violence in Durham.
Pastor Terry Shuff of Bull City Outreach Ministries knew Dawson and five other women in Durham who he ministered to previously and who had also been killed.
“Being on the streets, I’ve had many conversations with Kourtney,” said Shuff, who pointed out he is a street pastor, not a street preacher. He talks with people one on one. Bull City Outreach Ministries began renovating a house for its new headquarters at 1512 Holloway Street a few weeks ago, and already several people have walked in off the streets, he said. The organization ministers to prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics, gangs and the homeless.
“I don’t think there’s a worse street in Durham than Holloway,” Shuff said. “The gang activity is massive…but we want to bring light into the darkness.” Bull City Outreach will host an open house at the new building from 2 to 6 p.m. March 29.
Shuff said that the devil will keep trying and “it’s time to get serious and do the Father’s business.”