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Mourners told to “look out for one another”

Aug 20, 2010 1:10:00 PM - thestate.com
ORANGEBURG – Hundreds of mourners celebrated the short lives of Devean and Ja’van Duley, the two Orangeburg youngsters allegedly slain by the mother as church elders urged the community to "look out for one another." “There was a tie when I was a little boy, these things wouldn’t happen,” said Deacon Nathaniel Rhodes of St. Paul Baptist Church, where the funeral was held. “We’re got to go back to the old times. We can’t leave everything to God. We have to walk that Christian life together.” The Rev. Charcey N. Priester told the family and mourners that they must remain “anchored in the Lord, and to seek forgiveness.” The bodies of the two toddlers that lay at the front of the church in tiny white caskets are just shells, he said. “It’s now time to say goodnight to Devean and Ja’van -- Goodnight from the land of the dying. Good morning to the land of the living” in heaven. The 65-minute service was punctuated by joyous singing and uplifting prayers. The name of Shaquan Renee Duley, who allegedly smothered them and left their bodies in the North Edisto River, was never mentioned. But her presence was felt in the dozens of still photographs of the family projected onto the church’s audio-visual screens in the sanctuary before the service began. Duley’s mother and her other child, a 5-year-old daughter, both dressed in white, attended, along with dozens of family members.