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Freed-Hardeman establishes scholarship in honor of minister’s slain wife, son


The Ferguson family (Photo provided)

The parents of Karen Ferguson have established a scholarship fund at Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tenn., in honor of their daughter and grandson, killed in a brutal act of violence.
We reported on the Ferguson family after the Oct. 10, 2011, attack at their home in Gulfport, Miss. Karen Ferguson, 44, and son Cole, 21, were shot to death by an intruder. The suspect in the double-homicide — Paul Ellis Buckman — died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his apartment about two miles away, Gulfport police Capt. Craig Petersen said. Buckman, 70, had attended the Orange Grove Church of Christ with the Fergusons until he was charged in July with sexually assaulting Cole Ferguson, who had cerebral palsy, friends and authorities said.
Les Ferguson Jr., minister for the Orange Grove church, talked about coping with the loss of his wife and son. “God didn’t do this,” he said. “This was just evil.”
Karen Ferguson’s parents, Bob and Joan Brown of Henderson, established the scholarship fund to help students who need financial assistance to attend the university, associated with Churches of Christ. Bob Brown is the former chairman of Freed-Hardeman’s Department of Chemistry and Engineering Sciences.
Here’s text from a university news release. In addition to the Browns, the release mentions Billy Ferguson, Les Ferguson Jr.’s brother and minister for the Seventh Street Church of Christ in Columbus, Miss.

Dr. Bob and Mrs. Joan Brown of Henderson, Tenn., have established a scholarship in memory of their daughter and grandson, Karen Brown Ferguson and Trevor Cole Ferguson. …
Billy Ferguson described his sister-in-law as a compassionate person, and a loving wife and mother of four sons. She died while trying to save her children from the gunman. Karen was involved in many church activities at the Orange Grove Church of Christ where her husband Les is the minister. They had worked closely with various disaster relief groups who went to the Gulfport area in the wake of hurricane Katrina.
Twenty-one year old Cole suffered from a disability and had been in a wheel chair for the past two years. He did not, however, “allow his disability to define who he was,” according to his uncle, Billy Ferguson. “He always had a smile, loved to play practical jokes, loved to laugh, and loved to come to church.”
Survivors include Karen’s husband and Cole’s father, Les Ferguson, and three surviving sons: Kyle, Connor, and Casey. Karen Ferguson is also survived by her parents, Dr. Bob and Joan Brown; a sister, Robin Brown; and a brother, Scott Brown.
Anyone desiring to make contributions to the scholarship fund may contact the development office at Freed-Hardeman University.

  • Feedback
    Karen was indeed a wonderful and gracious Christian woman. What a joy to see her memory honored in this way.
    Danny D
    January, 5 2012

    PRAISE THE LORD! I hope the fund is hugely successful! God bless you all and may Father comfort the Fergusons and all their family.
    Terri Temple
    January, 12 2012

Filed under: Breaking News News Extras

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