JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A community gathers to say goodbye to 8-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle, as her pastor and church open their doors for a community-wide viewing.
Photos of Cherish Perrywinkle lined the Paxon Revival Center Sanctuary on Thursday as snapshots of the little girl's life cut short show the happy moments she shared with her family.
The senior pastor of the church now cherishes every memory of the little girl that used to hug his leg and smile as she said hello.
"She was standing inside the service, while the music was going and the little hands were lifted up and praising and worshiping God," said Steve Dobbs, Senior Pastor at Paxon Revival Center Church.
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Friends, family and sympathetic strangers could all be seen shedding a tear and sharing their heartfelt condolences with Perrywinkle's family.
"I've seen them at church, I've seen that little girl at Paxon Revival Center so there's sadness in my heart and I wanted to support the family," said Sandra Brisbane, a Jacksonville resident.
The community is still trying to come to terms with the kidnapping and murder of the 8-year-old girl who went missing after a trip to Walmart Friday night.
Some even brought their grandchildren for an all too real reminder of the threats children can face.
"I shop at that Walmart and I just felt like I wanted to come out and support the family. All prayers and support need to be for them right now," said Gloria Harrell, a Jacksonville resident.
Cherish Perrywinkle's funeral is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. Friday at Paxon Revival Church on Commonwealth Avenue.
First Coast News