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Brooklyn Pastor Dies After Being Stabbed at Least 15 Times; Son Charged With Murder

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Screenshot from Facebook: @Yvonne Chambers

A Brooklyn pastor died Saturday, Jan. 29, after being stabbed at least 15 times. Police have arrested and charged the son of Tracey Sydnor, 61, in connection with her murder

“It is with profound sorrow that Upper Room Baptist Church [announces] the Triumphant Transition of our Executive Pastor, Pastor Tracey Sydnor,” said Bishop J. Carl Henderson in a post on the church’s Facebook page. “We solicit your prayers as we prepare to celebrate her life. In the days ahead, further details will be released. In the meantime, we ask that you remember her children, siblings, and entire Sydnor families in your time of intercession.”

Brooklyn Pastor Tracey Sydnor Stabbed to Death

Tracey Sydnor was the executive pastor at Upper Room Baptist Church located at 180 Van Buren St. in Brooklyn, New York. She had grown up in the church and had led the choir prior to becoming a pastor, reports the NY Daily News. Bishop Henderson celebrated Sydnor’s new role in a Nov. 15 Facebook post

Police say that Sydnor was stabbed at least 15 times around 2 p.m. last Saturday. After Sydnor’s brother found her, first responders rushed the pastor to a hospital where she succumbed to her wounds. 

Authorities arrested Sydnor’s son, Kenji Francis, 40, at the scene of the crime. Prosecutors said Monday that Francis admitted to killing his mother, telling police, “What happened is I slit her up.” Sydnor’s son reportedly has no criminal record or history of mental health problems. A knife believed to be the murder weapon was recovered at the scene of the crime, and Francis has been charged with murder and weapon possession. 

The evening of Sydnor’s death, Henderson posted, “Where Do I go from here? Lord what am I supposed to do now? That was the wind beneath my wings in so many ways! #crushed.”

The following morning he posted, “​​I’ve literally got dozens and dozens of missed calls text, and inbox messages. Thank You! On behalf of myself and our church as well as the sydnor family! I have no words or conversation please keep all affected in prayer.” The bishop announced Sydnor’s death to the congregation in a sermon Sunday morning. 

Sunday evening, a woman named Yvonne Chambers posted a tribute to Sydnor, reminiscing about a road trip they had taken together and calling the Brooklyn pastor, “the consummate lady.”