Pastor Who Fled the Congo Is Shot Dead in Nashville

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Published: Jan 10, 2023
Pastor Who Fled the Congo Is Shot Dead in Nashville

Pastor Who Fled the Congo Is Shot Dead in Nashville

A pastor in Nashville who left the Congo due to war was killed outside his apartment last week and left like "trash in the yard," according to police.

According to The Christian Post, the Nashville Metro Police Department said a passerby found the body of Pastor Lubunga Lumenge, 30, early last Thursday morning in the grass outside Residences at Stonebrook Apartments.

"People were just walking past him like he was just trash in the yard," said neighbor Semetta Simmons.

Police are investigating the shooting death.

Lumenge had lost a child to gun violence in Nashville previously, according to friends and neighbors.

"My prayers are with (the family)," Simmons said. "Just keep your head up, and I'm so sorry that they had to experience this at the beginning of the year."

Neighbors told police they heard a gunshot at about 4 a.m.

Lumenge previously taught in Tanzania after he fled the Democratic Republic of Congo. He then came to the U.S. and became a member of the Swahili Christian Community.

"It's really shocking," church member Mto Biko told WKRN outside the pastor's apartment. "I was really devastated, feeling like, 'Is this real, or am I just dreaming?'

"He was a good person because he was someone who was really attached to the community and someone who was really willing to help other people and someone who was really concerned with other people's problems or difficulties," Biko said.

"In our community, it's really shocking. We understand if somebody dies from sickness, we understand," he added. "If somebody is shot, which is not part of our culture, we really, really feel bad and then devastated."

Lumenge was involved in two Swahili Christian communities, including one at Grace Church of the Nazarene, which no longer is affiliated with a Swahili ministry.

An associate pastor at Grace Church told reporters that Lumenge was "very active" in the Swahili ministry, and he was "sad" to hear about his death.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chalabala

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.

Pastor Who Fled the Congo Is Shot Dead in Nashville