Church family remembers man gunned down in parking lot

By: Julie Calhoun Email
By: Julie Calhoun Email

Update here

Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014

COLUMBIA CO., Ga. (WRDW) -- A man's life was taken in an instant in a church parking lot on Thursday night.

News of Bill Davitte's murder shocked a community. His alleged killer still behind bars 260 miles away in Florida.

Back home in Columbia County, church members at the Marvin United Methodist Church had a special service that was all about healing. A grieving congregation taking solace in song and prayer.

"We are here in the midst of an emotional storm, with waves so high they crush our hearts," said Reverend Elizabeth Ackerman.

As tragedy struck their community when their beloved member and servant Bill Davitte and his wife Jenny were attacked in the church parking lot. The couple came to the church to turn on the sprinklers something Bill always tended to. Investigators said Jenny was sitting alone in her car when Daniel Robinson approached and started beating her in the head.

As her husband ran to help her he was shot three times. Now, a wife left with out a husband, children without a father, and a church missing one it's most devout members.

"It's going to be hard around here. Not seeing Bill, always with a smile. He would do so much around here and never wanted any accolades," Mary Eash said.

"He was a good Christian man. Loved his wife, loved his family, took good care of his family," said Robert Albert.

Today's service honors Bill, and is all about healing after a tragedy that changes a congregation forever.

"For someone to invade a church ground and to do such a heinous crime to someone that was only doing god's will, it's going to be tough," Eash said.

Members of the church were given rocks which represented whatever emotion someone was feeling to put at the foot of the cross and give it up to God.

"It shocks us, it hurts us, but again we come back to who were are. This is God's house. This is God's grounds, and no evil is going to take that away from us," said Rev. Elizabeth Ackerman.

A man that will be forever missed and a church clutching to their faith for answers.

"It's not going to rob us of anything because we still believe in god more so now than ever," Rev. Ackerman said.

If you want to pay your respects, visitation will be Monday at 5 p.m. at Poteet Funeral Home and the funeral will be Tuesday at 11 a.m. at Poteet. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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