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...
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."