Revival Church Announces Terry Smith Service Will Be Private

A memorial service for Terry Smith Jr. planned for Saturday at Revival Christian Fellowship in Men...

A memorial service for Terry Smith Jr. planned for Saturday at Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee will not be open to the public after all, according to an announcement made by the church today.

On its website, Revival Church posted the following announcement late this afternoon:

Revival Christian Fellowship will be hosting a private memorial service for Terry Smith Jr.. The service is for invited family, friends, and guests of the Smith family. The memorial will be held at Revival Christian Fellowship, located in Menifee, California on Saturday, July 20 at noon.

On behalf of the Smith family, we ask that those who have not received an invitation refrain from attending the service. In order to keep the memorial private, there will be no media outlets allowed onto the campus of Revival Christian Fellowship.

We ask that you please respect the wishes of the family as they mourn the loss of their child.


A woman answering the phone at Revival early this afternoon would only say that an announcement was forthcoming. Calls placed to the church after the announcement was posted went unanswered.

Because of the tension between Shawna Smith -- Terry Jr's mother and a resident of Menifee -- and Terry Smith Sr. -- the boy's father, who lives in West Virginia -- Revival Church officials are in a difficult position. Complicating matters is the fact that the Coroner's Office might not even have a positive ID on the body by Saturday.

The church made no official statement about a memorial service until today, but an announcement on the Faithful Servants Facebook page Monday said that a memorial service scheduled for Saturday at Revival was open to the public. That announcement has since been removed from the group's page.

Terry Smith Sr. said by phone from West Virginia late this afternoon that his ex-wife Shawna called today to tell him a pastor at Revival would call him within a half hour to see if he would give his permission for the service to be held, apparently representing both sides of the family. The pastor never called, said Terry Smith, who was notified by a reporter that the service was now a private one.

Smith said he will arrive in Southern California Friday night, but he hasn't decided whether he will try to attend the service at Revival.

"I don't know yet," he said. "I just know they don't even want my side of the family there. They told my sister-in-law, who lives out there, that the service was cancelled.

"Shawna doesn't want me to come out there, but I've got news for them. I'm coming, and she knows I'm coming."

Smith said that with help from some private donors and members of his church, he was able to purchase a plane ticket to California. He said he still plans to hold a separate memorial service and invite the public.

"I want to make sure I can find a big enough place in Menifee to handle as many people as who were touched by this and want to come," Terry Smith said. "I want to meet as many of them as I can, shake their hand and thank them personally."



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  1. To set the record straight, I did not say They told me it was canceled, what I said was the event on facebook had been canceled which made me believe it was.

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  2. I really hope the father has an open memorial service for Terry. My Son's went to school with Terry and they were looking forward to attending on Saturday. Now I have to tell them they cannot go. The family is being selfish by keeping the service closed. There are classmates of Terry who need closure and want to attend. I hope they reconsider.

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  3. Um, I don't think the family is being selfish by wanting a memorial service strictly for their family. It will only be more difficult on them if they have "thousands" of people there. Think about the stress it will bring having all those people there. Now, if the father decides to have a seperate one for the public, then that's his choice. You don't make that choice for him. He will do what he wants especially since it's his son we're talking about here. I understand they we were all so heartbroken over the death of Terry, I know because I was heartbroken and I was out there searching for him too. Just think about the family first...not yourself.

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  4. I agree with the person who feels it is selfish. This entire community is devastated by what happened. People made memorial tiles, standing in line, for Terry. We are mad, devastated, and feel cheated. I want to know why that mother hasn't been arrested. If she knew there was tension between the 2 boys, why on earth would she go out and allow him to babysit? She should be charged with felony child abuse. Also, how in the heck do they not know it is him by now? Dental records, etc. Something is really wrong in that house and with this investigation.

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    1. from what I have heard the mother is not being forth coming in releasing the dental records or the dentist name, if he ever even went to the dentist while he was here... sad and selfish people I say.

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    2. Its not your kid, u or the community doesn't get to decide.

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  5. I agree - your job as a parent is to help your kids with the closure and they might need it explained that 'even though we would do it differently, this family chooses to handle this situation this way'. Your sons are not entitled to anything where this is concerned, nor is the public. Most of the people who volunteered and have been riveted by this story understand that, albeit we would like to be there to mourn and help carry the burden for this family.

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    1. What do you mean they have no right to closure. My son at 8 years old went out to search for Terry and can't understand how someone can just murder an innocent child. With this memorial it would help these children say goodbye to the precious angel.

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    2. Then as parents, it is our job to explain to our kids the best we can what happened. This is where we as parents take the reins and help our kids through something awful like this. I don't think we should use our kids feelings to railroad our way into a ceremony that is preferred to be kept private.

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  6. IT IS SELFISH!!!!! THE COMMUNITY SPENT MORE TIME AND RESOURCES ON TERRY JR. THAN ANY OF HIS OWN FAMILY MEMBERS DID. IF THE COMMUNITY WANTS TO SHARE THEIR LOVE AND PAIN FOR AN INNOCENT 11 YEAR OLD CHILD THAT WAS MURDERED IN OUR COMMUNITY IT IS THE FAMILIES OWN SHAME THAT WOULD PREVENT THAT. WE ARE GOOD ENOUGH TO GET HEAT STROKE LOOKING FOR HIM BUT NOT GOOD ENOUGH TO SIT IN REMEMBRANCE.

    PARENTS THROW OUT YOUR JUVENILE ANTICS. THIS IS ABOUT SAYING GOODBYE TO YOUR BABY. BOTH OF YOU!

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  7. terry smith your awesome!

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  8. It is NOT selfish of them, I'm sure they appreciate all the help you gave to search, but this is their kid not yours, you don't have any rights to decide how they bury their son. To bad both mom& dads family can't come together for 1 day to say goodbye. They need to put their personal issues aside & be mature enough to remember their son, bicker later! Just because it happen in your community doesn't give you any rights, get over it & just pray for his soul.

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  9. My goodness, where is all this entitlement and expectancy coming from? We show up and help out because that is what we do as a community, as good and decent people . . .not because we want something in return. A child is gone, a family lost their baby, a community lost a son. The family should be given the respect to mourn and honor his loss how they see fit. We as a community can mourn as well, and we have no right to insist on any kind of participation in a private service. We as a community can have our own service if we feel so compelled, and to those of you calling this selfish, perhaps you could arrange a service of some sort in honor of Terry Jr.?

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  10. praying for peace for the family. A child is gone, honoring his name and memory should be priority number one versus any personal issues between the family members. this is sad for the community and horrible for terry sr. God bless you all and you are in my prayers.

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  11. An innocent child is now an angel. He doesn't have the worry of being treated like a step as it listed. He doesn't have to read about being called a retard as it listed. He is free of pain and suffering. I pray for justice for whoever is involved with his murder. I pray they will not get away with what they have done to this innocent child. It doesn't matter if he was or is autistic. It doesn't matter if it was the right decision to leave the child with the brother or stay home for the night. What matters now is Terry is now an angel. He is not here today. May everyone keep their ridiculous comments to themselves. This isnt about trashing each other or pointing the finger but simply closure and compassion for all that are affected. A memorial doesn't have to be public or big. The same as in prayer and church. If you are able to pray amongst your family at home when tragedy strikes why not do the same in remembrance. At the time of the service light a candle , say a prayer and be the better person in the situation.

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  12. I think its very selfish. I also believe the mother should be held accountable in this whole matter. She is the one that shouldn't be allowed to attend!

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    Replies
    1. You must have some information that has not been made public to make a statement like that.What a small minded comment to make.

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  13. I think there is still a lot that we don't know about this case.......especially the involvement of the mother.......How is it your child is missing and he is discovered deceased on ones property....when my child disappears for a minute....I completely search every inch of my house and property...You can't tell me she had no idea her child was partially buried on her property......Something isn't right about this case.......and as far as it being private ceremony.....I believe its to avoid confrontation and to protect oneself from the scrutiny of those still asking questions.......aunt , partner, mother...Had a friend when was involved in the search and he witnessed individuals laughing and joking on the porch of the families house.....Sure doesn't sound like a family to distraught over the situation.......I say .....Have your own Memorial Service for him...! I am sure you can find a beautiful spot and have people read scripture etc....

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