January 1, 1900
Ryan Poe - firstname.lastname@example.org
Family and friends of 17-year-old Spencer Perkins will say their final goodbyes Tuesday in Downtown Columbus.
The Heritage Academy junior, who died Friday after accidentally shooting himself in the face while hunting near Brooksville on Sept. 12, will be buried in the historic Friendship Cemetery on Fourth Avenue South following services at First Baptist Church.
Visitation will be held in the building from 12:30 p.m. until the service begins at 3 p.m.
Senior Pastor Shawn Parker, who has known the Perkins family for more than seven years, said the church anticipates a "capacity crowd."
The sanctuary, where the service will be held, seats 750 to 800 people, he said. An overflow area for 150 to 175 people will also be set up with closed circuit television sets broadcasting the service.
God's love would be one of the focuses of the sermon, Parker said.
"The 17 years Spencer was here was a gift of God, and we need to look for strength from the Lord to deal with this loss," he said.
In the wake of the tragedy, six grief counselors from the Golden Triangle area were invited to Perkins' high school today to talk with students, said Heritage Academy Headmaster Tommy Gunn.
The school has canceled athletic events on Tuesday and Wednesday and has postponed Homecoming, Grandparents Day and Special Friends Day until Oct. 15.
Students and teachers will be allowed to leave classes beginning at noon to attend the funeral, Gunn said.
The family asks that memorials be sent in lieu of flowers to the First Baptist Church "Because He Lives" building fund, or to Heritage Academy. crack