"I lost a brother in Christ": Officer who found dead pastor reflects
By Megan Boatwright
Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) - Pastor David Strong was beloved by those who knew him, including the officer who first found Strong's body in his home.
Officer David Young is a friend of Strong's. He has been with Chattanooga Police for 7 years. Young was on duty Sunday morning. He was dispatched to the pastor's home to check on him.
David Young is also a pastor. He first met Strong in 2008. After seeing Strong's body through the window, Young says he knew he couldn't go inside.
"It was a normal day of police work, at first," says the officer, "just checking on a friend."
That's what Officer David Young had in his mind, when he went to friend and fellow pastor David Strong's home Sunday morning.
"He didn't answer the door," Young says. "That led to what we found."
Dispatchers asked officers to be on the lookout for the pastor's car. They found two men driving in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Young was one of the officers dispatched to the home. When Strong didn't answer the door, Officer Young looked through the window.
"I didn't know what to expect," he says. "I really didn't."
In the crime scene frenzy that followed, the officer says he withdrew.
"I tried to stay out of the picture," he says. "It was a brother in Christ that I lost."
Young never went inside the house, but stayed at the scene until his shift ended at 8 a.m. Then the police officer, became a preacher.
"To discover everything on a Sunday," Young says. "It made it hard for things to continue. We still had to go on with our services that morning."
For Pastor Young, that meant making the 90 minute drive to his church in Knoxville. The events of the morning were stuck in his head, but the man kept trying to think about his message.
"It was on my mind," he says. "Sitting in the pastor study; then a lot just leading up to the moment it was time to preach."
David Young ended our conversation on a positive note, saying he knows it's time to move on and pick on the torch where Pastor Strong left it.
He also said he's looking forward to the vigil Wednesday and spending time in prayer with the people who loved Pastor Strong best.