“When we come to times like this, as I was telling the family, emotions are very high,” said Dr. DeWayne New of New Harmony Baptist Church.
“I know for four days now, no comfort has become experienced by the family of Elizabeth.”
Hutcheson, 27, was brutally murdered when she delivered pizza to 229 Thompson St. last Thursday night. Police have arrested two suspects in the case.
However, the focus Tuesday at the Lester C. Litesey Funeral Home was on Hutcheson’s life and her family. Around 120 people attended the service, filling the chapel.
The crowd included young and old, African-American, Latino and white.
Hutcheson first went to New Harmony Baptist Church with her grandmother, New said. She accepted Jesus as her Savior and was baptized at age nine.
Pictures of Hutcheson played on large screens before and during the service. They included pictures of her in high school band, pictures with friends, on trips, with family.
There were many photographs of her with her small daughter, Kiera, and fiancé David Williams.
Songs included “I Can Only Imagine,” “I Sure Miss You,” and “Amazing Grace.”
New said Hutcheson’s death was a “senseless” act and her life was “much too brief.” Her death probably will never make sense, he said.
“There’s really, truly nothing we can say to fill that void in their hearts,” he said of the family. “Elizabeth was taken way too soon with dreams for her and her child, for her future, taken away from her.”
Yet, New said this is the time to continue in prayer for comfort and understanding even when it seems it will never come.
“When we get to that point when we’re hurting that bad, when we don’t know how to pray, the Bible says the Spirit intercedes for us,” he said.
New talked about how good can come out of all things and how those who loved Hutcheson should not seek their own revenge.
Hutcheson wouldn’t want that because she was a Christian and loved others, he said.
“What happened to Elizabeth was not good. It was bad. It was sinful. It was evil,” he said. “God will judge and will handle it.”
New told those in attendance that history shows another innocent person was brutally killed in a senseless tragic death. That person was Jesus, he said.
“Many people have had many things to say about what happened to Elizabeth. Leave the judgment to the courts and, ultimately, give judgment to God because He knows everything that happened,” he said.
New commended the police officers working the case and helping to capture the suspects and said he felt sure those responsible will be punished.
He said their punishment will not end on earth, but God will also judge them.
Some members of law enforcement were at the service to show respect to the family, police traffic and provide an escort to North View Cemetery where Hutcheson was buried.
Cedartown Assistant Police Chief Jamie Newsome said police weren’t concerned about violence at the service and were there to strictly to support the family.
However, he said there were concerns raised by online chatter about possible violence in Cedartown after the funeral. Newsome said he called for additional officers to patrol in a preventive measure in order to ensure the community’s safety.