A New Hampshire pastor’s decision to invite a convicted child killer to live with him and his family has created outrage within his small community.
March 26, 2009 — Every week, David Pinckney preaches to his congregation about being like Jesus. Now the small-town New Hampshire pastor is discovering not everyone wants to follow through with that challenge-especially when it comes to forgiveness.
Last week Pinckney did the unthinkable for many of the 2,000-plus residents of Chichester, N.H., by inviting a convicted child killer to live with him and his family for at least two months. After officials couldn’t find anyone else willing to take in 60-year-old Raymond Guay, who spent the last 35 years behind bars on charges of abducting and murdering a 12-year-old boy in 1973, Pinckney opened up his home-where his wife and four teenage children also live. Unfortunately, most of his neighbors believe his kindness is now making a once tranquil town unsafe for everyone.
Pinckney, who leads River of Grace Church in nearby Concord, has received several angry phone calls, endured a protest outside his home and even heard someone threaten to burn his house down. In a recent town meeting, more than 200 people gathered to appeal Guay’s relocation to Chichester, and local police have publicly stated they understand people’s fear because of their meager numbers (the town employs only four full-time officers).
“My concern is safety,” said Merrimack County Sheriff Scott Hilliard, whose department assists Chichester police the Boston Globe reported. . “To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t want Mr. Guay to be living in my town. I’m a parent, too.”
Pinckney met Guay through a prison minister and believes he’s a changed man since meeting Christ in 1993. “We would not be doing this if we thought we were endangering our town, neighbors or children,” he wrote in an open letter to the town assuring them Guay is trustworthy.
Not everyone is buying it, despite such assurance coming from a man who’s been well liked and respected by the community. “It was said this could disrupt life,” Pinckney said reports the Globe. “People wouldn’t like it. He’s not liked. But at the end of the day, this is what Jesus did. He defended the defenseless. He was a friend of sinners.”