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Church members speak out about recent death of Good Samaritan

Public memorial for Jacquelyn Smith scheduled
Posted at 7:03 PM, Dec 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-06 16:08:12-05

If ever someone needed help, you would think it would be a woman holding a baby on a rainy, dark night with a sign begging for money to feed it.

That's what 54-year-old Jacquelyn Smith thought when she reached out the window to hand her some cash moments before an accomplice would take her life with the thrust of a knife.

“Something moved her to give, and she's just that type of person.  That's why this is so hard for me even to accept this,” said the victim’s husband, Keith Smith.

A man of faith, Jacquelyn's husband, now has followed her last charitable act with a pledge to push all panhandlers off the streets.

“I'm a minister.  I'm a man of God and I try to help people,” Smith told reporters in the aftermath of the killing, “We're in our last days and we need to understand there are some desperate people and they don't need help.  They're trying to hurt you.”

It is a message, which strikes home with some of Keith Smith's fellow congregants, like Bernice Hayes, at the Helping Hands Ministries in Churchville.

“The Bible does say that this is perilous times and it would get worse and worse every day and that's just the act of the world and as Christians, we have to pray for those who do not know the Lord and then also how to bring them to the Lord so they won't get tangled up with what's going on in the world with the murder and the killing and the stealing, and we just have to pray for one another, especially our families,” said Hayes.

But with one of the church's own families now suffering from such evil firsthand, the loss is shared by all, and what has traditionally been the giving season leading up to Christmas, now leaves many wondering what will become of those on the streets who need help the most.

“We're out to help one another and now with this happening, you'd be afraid to help someone,” said Hayes, “and people like this—-these people that did this terrible tragedy, they will make it bad for those who are really in need so it will turn people off from helping others.”

The public memorial for Jacquelyn Smith starts at 6:00 p.m. on Friday at the Helping Hands Ministries, 3237 Level Road in Churchville.