Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville, FL started like many. A group from the big 1st Presbyterian Church in Jacksonville wanted to start a church in a quickly growing area of Jacksonville. They held their first service in that developing area on November 4, 1990, renting space in a local building called Captain’s Club (a property designed to host weddings, reunions and meetings). By February of 1991, 32 people became Charter Members of the new church.
A land grant enabled them to start a building program in 1992. They held their 1st service in their new building in 1995. By 2002 the growing church had built a larger sanctuary and opened a school on their campus. Fun times and successful growth continued for the church family.
Until this week.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander (Matthew 15:19).
How could he? That’s often the question when something shocking happens. The answer is often simply rooted in those words of Christ.
On Thursday, 12/2/21 the Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church pastor posted an announcement on their website.
It is with tremendous sadness that I report to you that this Wednesday morning Bill Broyles, our Director of Music, confessed to shooting his wife and two of his children. Bill has been part of our church staff for 23 years, and this was completely out of character. We mourn this devastating loss to the church, Bill’s remaining family, and the larger community. We ask that you would hold the members of the Broyles family, our church family, and Bill himself in your prayers regarding this tragedy.
Nassau County (FL) Sheriff, Bob Leeper held a news conference on 12/1/21, telling how 57-year-old Broyles called 911 early that morning telling the dispatcher he had just killed his wife, their 27-year-old daughter and 28-year-old son.
The Sheriff disclosed they had never been called to the home before. Stunned family, friends and neighbors reported no anger or violence ever sensed in the family before.
Broyles had shot each of them multiple times and told investigators he was too scared to kill himself.
Think About it
As the religious leaders of Christ’s time were wrapped around axles of law and proper protocol, Jesus stated, “their hearts are far from me.”[i]
The same is true today. Protectors understand some are just not who they seem or say.
[i] Matthew 15:8 (NIV)