We are trying to remember them and at the same time, as David (Rose) said, encourage our community to pray for our kids and be there for them.Dr. Bill Gammon
RINCON — A trio of local clergymen is working to ensure that teen siblings Mary Crocker and Elwyn Crocker Jr. aren’t forgotten again.
The Crockers’ bodies were discovered last month buried in a wood line in the 400 block of Rosebud Place in Guyton. Fourteen-year-old Mary had been missing since October 2018. Elwyn went missing in November 2016 when he was 14.
Five people face charges in connection to their deaths, including their father, stepmother and step-grandmother.
“When it all happened, it all kind of blew me out of the water,” said Dr. Bill Gammon, former associate pastor and children’s minister at First Baptist Church Rincon. “I was sort of dumbfounded, you know. Here these children are and this has happened, and my concern was that they really didn’t have any voice.
“It really bothered me and I had a couple of nights where I couldn’t sleep. I felt like something needed to be done for people in the community to try to make a statement. I put something out there and people responded positively that something needed to be done.”
After prayerful consideration, Gammon felt led to organize a memorial service. It will be conducted Feb. 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Baker Lake, 224 Courthouse Road, Springfield.
“I didn’t want to be involved with it all by myself because it isn’t about me. It’s about these children,” Gammon said. “Pastor David Rose and Pastor George Pabst are helping me with this.”
Each memorial participant will be given a white paper dove with the children’s names on it.
“... we are asking people to bring a flashlight or their cellphone,” Gammon said. “We will assemble along the walk and a boat will row into the pond and two lanterns will be lit. That’s the signal for everyone to turn their flashlights on and their phones.”
The ceremony will include “Amazing Grace” played by a bagpiper.
“After that, the people are to leave but they are not to turn to their flashlights and cellphones off until they return to their vehicle,” Gammon said.
The service will be brief.
“I just wanted an opportunity for people to pray,” Gammon said. “I don’t want (the Crockers) forgotten.”
Gammon said he is unsure if he ever encountered the Crockers but their names resonate with him. He wonders if they ever attended Vacation Bible School at his church.
“Their names just wouldn’t go away and when I saw their pictures it just kind of haunted me,” he said. “... I felt like something needed to be done and to remind people that they were wonderful kids. We are trying to remember them and at the same time, as David said, encourage our community to pray for our kids and be there for them. That is kind of the gist of what we are trying to do.”
Gammon urged memorial participants to be in position at precisely 6:30 p.m.