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Pastor of Columbus church where Ma'Khia Bryant's funeral will be held speaks out

Bishop Timothy Clarke is pastor of the First Church of God in Columbus.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The funeral for 16-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant is scheduled to take place this Friday at the First Church of God on Refugee Road in Columbus.

“Grief is like wet sand. When you add to that tragedy, that weight only becomes greater,” said Bishop Timothy Clarke, pastor of the church.  

He told 10TV he’s felt this feeling too many times now.  

Within the last four months, his church has held the funerals for Casey Goodson Jr., Andre Hill, and now Ma’Khia Bryant.

“That’s been my heart now. What can we as the city do to bury this baby with the dignity she deserves,” Clarke said.  

Bryant’s funeral comes a week after she was shot and killed by Columbus Division of Police Officer Nicholas Reardon.  

Reardon’s body worn camera shows Bryant lunging at another woman with a knife.  

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating to determine whether the shooting was justified.

“Ma’Khia is worth grieving. We should give ourselves and others the gift of grace, gather around this family and guard and sustain them,” Clarke said.  

Through all this uncertainty, Bishop Clarke firmly believes community members will find a way to uplift her name.

“We will grieve, but as the Bible says, not as those who have no hope. We will find a way to celebrate,” he said.  

The wake starts at 12 p.m. Friday, followed by the funeral at 1 p.m.

It's not yet known if the funeral will be open to the public.

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