Metro bishop calls on parents to step up after losing son to gun violence in DeKalb County

DECATUR, Ga. — Bishop James Morton, of New Beginnings Full Gospel Church, lost his son James Morton Jr. to gun violence on September 19.

Morton said he took his son home following service that Sunday. They had a spirited conversation on the way to his home on Memorial Drive. Not too long later, Morton got a call that his 50-year-old son had been shot.

“I took him home the Sunday that he died,” said Morton.

Morton was emotional as he drove to the scene after getting the call.

“I cried all the way down 285 to Memorial Drive because I knew he was gone,” Morton said.

DeKalb police said Morton Jr. got into a dispute with two people at The Budgetel on Memorial Drive that night. They have been identified as Asa Seeley and Melissa Washington. Police said one of them shot Morton Jr. multiple times, killing him.

The elder Morton, being a man of the church, has had to deal with death on many fronts — both in his congregation and personal life. This death reaches a different place for the bishop and is so much closer to home.

“There is nothing like losing a child. Nothing. Nothing compares to it,” said Morton.

Morton wants justice for his son but does not believe he will be getting it following the developments of the case.

“Whatever happens happens. It will not bring him back,” said Morton.

The nationally known pastor and recording artist has noticed an increase in gun violence. He said there are too many guns on the streets and too many young people willing to use them.


“A lot of these young boys now are walking around with notches in their guns counting the people they have killed,” said Morton.

He said the country needs more children raised in the church and more godly parents.

“We just got to humble ourselves and pray and ask God to change this,” said Morton.