Services held for shooting victim

by Clay Neely - clay@newnan.com

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Photo by Clay Neely

The pallbearers for Reggie Sinkfield each held a rose while watching the graveside service. 


Funeral services for Reggie Sinkfield were held Tuesday at Roscoe Jenkins Funeral Home.

Sinkfield was the third fatal victim of gun violence that shocked Coweta County last week.

Inside of Roscoe Jenkins, hundreds of family and friends gathered to laugh, cry and embrace one another while remembering Sinkfield.

The service was a high energy event, with those in attendance standing for the majority of the service.

It began with uplifting songs of devotion delivered by Sinkfield’s cousins, and readings from both the Old and New Testament by Rev. Ricky Teagle and Minister Gwen Teagle.

However, it was the Apostle Tilden Colton who elevated the already upbeat service into a rousing event. Colton delivered a powerful and poignant message while motivating the entire assembly to stand up and join his spirited eulogy.

“It’s a shame before God for us to live life as if God is not real,” Colton said. “I know there are some of you out there who are saying ‘this is the will of God.’ But let me tell you something, that’s one of the biggest lies that’s ever been told. It was not the will of God for this to happen again.”

“And if we’re not careful, in a few more days, it will happen again,” Colton said. “So what are we going to do about it?”

While Colton feels the list of atrocities that were committed to the African American community over the years is substantial, he expressed that the most dangerous enemy in the world today are those who are killing each other.

“We have too many cowards trying to erase a generation,” Colton said. “Somebody is going to stand up and let our young people know that they don’t have to live like this.”

Following the fiery eulogy of Colton, the cousins of Sinkfield reconvened for a lengthy and emotional performance of the gospel staple “I’m Going Up Yonder,” with mourners raising their hands and singing along as the service drew to a close.

The funeral procession stopped traffic for miles as it made its way across Newnan before ultimately arriving at Summer Hill Baptist Church cemetery. Outside, hundreds gathered at the graveside to watch their friend and family member be laid to rest.

“Reggie was a great man and he had much respect for people around him,” said longtime friend Montez Neely. “I’m glad he entered my family’s life. He always said, ‘Take care of them kids and always stay real with yourself.’”

Another longtime friend, Randell Torrell, spoke at the repast following the funeral – still in shock of his friend’s death.

“Reggie was the type of guy, he could tell you something and you’d believe it,” said Torrell. “He was so charismatic and just a great human being.”

“Reggie was loved by all,” added Darrell Hayes. “Sometimes it’s just the lifestyle you choose. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. He knew he had family but he was an adult and he made his own choices. ”

If Sinkfield was hungry or needed a place to stay, according to Hayes, there were so many people in the community that always had room for him. “We all loved him,” Hayes said.

While no one has been apprehended for killing Sinkfield, Hayes believes that someone in the community knows what happened. “It’s inevitable,” said Hayes. “Anytime someone hears a gunshot, there is always someone outside that is watching.”

Hayes feels that apprehending the perpetrator will be the only way for the family to achieve closure.

“We may never find out but it won’t be from lack of trying," she said.

Ultimately, Reggie’s father, Clarence Sinkfield, believes the cracks surrounding the secrecy of his son’s murder will show.

“We have to pressure someone to talk,” Sinkfield said. “Somebody knows something and we aren’t going to rest and let them sweep this under the rug. I talked to a detective and said that I just want justice, and he said, ‘I know you do.’”

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Follow Clay Neely on Twitter - @clayneely



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