PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Friends and family are still mourning the loss of Roger Mock Sr. The church-going 67-year-old was found dead in his Hampstead home last Wednesday. Mock Sr. was a founding member of New Life Christian Center in Holly Ridge. Saturday, the church found joy in the midst of sadness as they broke ground for a new building.
WWAY attended the Groundbreaking Ceremony and spoke with Mock's family and friends.
Most describe Mock Sr.'s death as tragic and shocking. His stepson, James Gorby has been arrested and charged with Mock Sr.'s murder.
Mock Sr.'s son, Roger Mock Jr. said he has a peace about the situation and has only one thing to say to his step-brother: "In my father's words, he would have said, 'I forgive you, son.' That's it. That would have been my father's final words to Jimmy."
We've been told Mock Sr. was trying to help Gorby overcome a drug addiction.
"You would certainly hear him talk about how he loved them, how he was praying for them, how he was always concerned about them,” recalls Mock Sr.’s fellow church member and friend JoAnn Williams. “You could see that was something that was a very important part of his life was his family."
"He was just a pillar of the church, just a wonderful sweetheart of a guy,” fellow church member and friend Gary Williams said. “You couldn't ask for a better friend, a better mentor within the church body."
"He helped me a lot in being brought to the Lord,” fellow church member and friend Cecil Poole recalls.
"It was a deep loss for our church here on earth, but again, I know you've heard it over and over again, he's in a much better place, and we look forward to seeing him in our future,” said hopeful church member and friend Dianne Purcell.
Church members said Mock Sr. gave so much to the church, and although they missed him on the monumental day, they know he was there in spirit.
Mock Jr. says his father was the most genuine man he's ever known, and his love and generosity will live on.
"Get to know your parents, inside and out,” advised Mock Jr. “Because there are lessons to be learned in the heart that can only be found between two people, a parent and their children."
The Pender County Sheriff's Office says James Gorby is also charged with breaking and entering and larceny, larceny of a motor vehicle, two counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of stolen property.