Rev. Dr. Orin Grant Sr., pastor of historic St. Paul Baptist Church in McDonoghville is trudging through the loss of his son and namesake, Orin Grant Jr. who was the victim of a senseless murder. The 20 year-old was gunned down on August 2 while at his girlfriend’s house on Pailet Avenue in Harvey.

Rev. Grant, also known as the McDonoghville Minister, is well-known and beloved in the Westbank community. He has been pastor at St. Paul’s since 2000. He served as the 10th President of the Westside Missionary Baptist Association from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2021.

A boisterous and interesting preacher, he was guest speaker for the popular, annual Gretna Prayer Dinner which took place just weeks before the shocking murder.  

Rev. Grant says that his faith in God and the power of prayer is guiding him through, day by day, the “greatest challenge he has ever faced!”  Faith, prayers and the love of their church community are sustaining the Reverend and his wife, Myrna Grant through this challenging, difficult time.

“It was someone who was kin to his girlfriend, took him to the back yard, and back there allegedly there were some perpetrators, two gunmen who shot my son in the back as he tried to run from them,” said Dr. Grant.

Orin Jr., who started as a drummer at 8 years-old was a drummer at St. Paul’s and also a percussionist at City of Refuge New Orleans and for the Westside Association as well. He was a student at Nunez Community college studying process technology and had graduated from New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy (NORMA).

Rev. Grant and many local leaders came together on August 30, four weeks after the murder to honor Orin Jr. and to address the ongoing violence in local communities by holding a rally at the Israel Baptist Church in Harvey. Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto, whose department is investigating the crime says we need more events like the rally to send a message to the young people who are often victims of violence.

“They never believe they’re going to be the next one, they never believe that they’re going to be the next person killed on the street. It’s not as easy as we always have the solution, sometimes we don’t, but we have to take the preventative measures in order to make sure the next generation is able to continue,” said Sheriff Lopinto.

Rev. Grant hoped the rally would serve as a starting point to get locals involved in eradicating violence from our communities. It seems to have taken hold because there is another event happening soon about the issue.

The #HisBeatGoesOn Conflict Resolution, Mental Health and Gun Violence Seminar will be held on Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, 1509 Monroe Street, Gretna, LA 70053. The registration fee is $20 for the seminar which includes breakfast, lunch and the conference materials. For more information or to register, call 504.516.8634. 

The investigation into the death of Orin Grant Jr. is still ongoing, but there have been no murder charges filed as of this time. 

Larry Dixon Jr. of Harvey was arrested on an obstruction of justice charge in connection with the murder. Dixon, 41, allegedly asked Orin Jr. to come out of Dixon’s home at which time Orin Jr. was shot and killed. Dixon allegedly drove away and despite witnesses reporting two men running away after the shots, no one has yet been arrested for the killing. 

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is handling the investigation and asks that anyone with any information please come forward, anonymously.

Rev. Dr. Grant is calling on public officials, police, pastors, parents and people to join the fight against this crime epidemic that has everyone worried. Organizations and people across the nation are interested to join together to stop the violence.   Rev. Dr. Grant said, “The murder of my son is the commencement of his mission, message and memory. His mission is stop the violence, his message is love, peace and unity, his memory is #HisBeatGoesOn.”