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June 26, 2007

RE: Humble Heroes and a Cold Case File

A while back Zoe asked us for nominations for humble heroes. I just ran across another one. Pastor Tim Mason of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Hooks, Texas, will speak to his congregation on the power of forgiveness and the possibility of redemption. Mason's cousin and friend (both 19 years old at the time) were abducted, beaten, whipped, and brutally murdered by Klansmen in Southwest Mississippi in May of 1964. The once cold case has just re-opened and a long-delayed justice is finally on its way to being delivered. The AP news reports:

The government's star witness was confessed Klansman Charles Marcus Edwards, 73, who ... surprised courtroom spectators one day by apologizing to the victims' families.

"I can't undo what was done 30 years ago and I'm sorry for that. I ask for y'all's forgiveness for my part in this crime," said Edwards from the witness stand while jurors were out of the courtroom.

Pastor Tim Moore stands out as a hero in my mind because not only has he forgiven this horrific crime, but he is teaching his congregation about forgiveness. He is stopping a cycle of violence and hate with the power of forgiveness. His twin brother is doing the same:

Mason and his twin brother, Tom Mason, grew up in Franklin County, where their parents were sharecroppers and raised pigs. ....Tom Mason now lives in Azusa, Calif., near Los Angeles, where he works as an estimator for Southern California Edison. Like his twin, he said he forgives Edwards and Seale.

"Our parents always taught us that you cannot hate, no matter how much you are hated," Tom Mason said. "This was based on their belief in Christ."

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