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Pastor Shonta "Shun" Newson remembered as a steadfast presence and community leader in Statesboro

Pastor Shonta “Shun” Omaile Newson was a pillar in the Statesboro community. After his unexpected passing on Saturday, August 5, 2023, touching tributes poured in online, memorializing him as a husband, father, friend, community leader, and steadfast presence in the lives of those that he knew.
Pastor Shonta "Shun" Newson, January 30, 1972 - August 5, 2023. Photo sourced from Resourced Augusta's Facebook Page.

Pastor Shonta “Shun” Omaile Newson was a well-known pillar in the Statesboro community. A graduate of Georgia Southern University, he was most notably known for his steadfast, positive, and comforting presence to his friends, family, peers, and cohorts.

At age 51, he unexpectedly passed on Saturday, August 5, 2023, in Statesboro after experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. Following Newson's unexpected passing, several touching tributes were posted online by those whose lives had been touched by Newson in some way.

Many of those tributes detailed specific memories with Newson and how he impacted their lives in profound ways. The fact that so many individuals shared specific, positive instances with Newson, indicates that he had a magnetic personality and indelible presence.

Many of the touching tributes lauded him as being a leader, a man of faith, a family man, a friend, a mentor, an encourager, a supporter, and a wonderful person.

Pastor Shonta "Shun" Newson Memorial | Photo sourced from Resourced Augusta's Facebook Page. 

The Life of Shonta Newson

Newson was born on Monday, January 30, 1972, to Robert Joe Newson and Dorothy Andrews in Newnan, Georgia.  
He was educated in the public school system of Coweta County and graduated in 1990 from Newnan High School.  Shun attained a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and Teaching from Georgia Southern University in 1997. While a student at Georgia Southern, he was an active member of the Afro-American Choir and was a Tutor Counselor with the Upward Bound Program. Additionally, in May 2018, he earned a master’s degree in Christian Education from Liberty University.

At an early age, his faith journey began when he joined the Friendship Baptist Church. While residing in Statesboro, Georgia, he joined Agape Worship Center under Bishop Anthony Chavers. Having answered his ministerial call, Shun was licensed as a Minister in 2002 and ordained as an Elder in 2004. At Agape Worship Center, Elder Newson served in many capacities and roles, from the Music Ministry to Executive Team to Ministerial Staff.  He served as the youth minister at Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Register, Georgia, from 2005 until his installation as Pastor in 2012. He faithfully served until his passing. He also served as the youth minister at Miller Grove Missionary Baptist Church from 2007 until 2020.
Pastor Newson began his vocational career first as an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Admission at Georgia Southern University, and later as an Education Specialist in the Education Talent Search Program, a federally funded TRIO Program. During his tenure at Georgia Southern University, he served as the Advisor to Voices In Ministry (VIM) Choir. He additionally held positions with Pineland Mental Health and Necco Foster Agency. Most recently, he was the Community Marketing Representative for CareSource.

Pastor Shonta "Shun" Newson working for CareSource. Photo sourced from Resourced Augusta's Facebook Page. 

He is preceded in death by fathers, Robert Joe Newson and Thomas Alton James; paternal grandparents, Robert L. Newson and Annie Lee; and maternal grandparents, W.T. Andrews and Bessie Andrews.
Pastor Newson leaves the following behind to cherish his memories:

His loving and devoted wife, Deidra Reid Newson of Statesboro, GA; two children, Jade and Zachariah Newson both of Statesboro, GA; his mother, Dorothy A. James of Newnan, GA; mother-in- law, Phyllis (Ronald) Campbell; father-in-law, Lepolin Mainer; his siblings, Kenya Shaneke Newson, Shamandra Newson, DeMarcus Newson all of Newnan, GA and Rafael (Raven) James of LaGrange, GA; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Rico (Lisa) Campbell, Tanisha Campbell, Tara King, Derrick (Latrice) Mainer, Lepolin Mainer; nieces and nephews, Keyonta (Mikey) Collazo, LaMarcus Hill, Terrelle Newson, LaDeja Owens, Niya Newson, M’Shanti Newson, MoRaya Newson, Trinity Carriker, Eric Campbell, Isaiah Campbell, Marcus Campbell, Christopher Campbell, Da’Meshia Jinks, Kennedi Lanier, and Taylor Mainer; nine great nieces and nephews; aunts, Ruby Davis, Ernestine (Reverend Joe) Geter, Sallie (Jewell) Glenn, Willene (Willie) Adams, Jackie Carroll, and Ruby James; uncles, Frank (Nereau) Andrews, and Reverend Felton (Fanny) James, a great uncle, Clifford Geter; his godchildren, Ashton McMillan, Mason and Mya Tremble, Aaryn Everett, Aubrey Jackson, Darien Cone, King Shatteen, Jatavia Frink, CJ Williams, LaErica Hutton, and Amber Baldwin; his brothers from another mother, Apostle Antonio (Lady Joi) Thomas and family and Lawrence (Dana) Thompson and family; the members of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, The Pilgrim Missionary Baptist Association and the Concerned Clergy along with a host of other relatives and friends.

The funeral service for Pastor Newson, was held on Saturday, August 12, 2023, at the Miller Grove Missionary Baptist Church. The service was headed by Rev. Harry J. Tremble, Jr., Pastor; Bishop Anthony Chavers, Presiding; and Apostle Antonio Thomas, Eulogist.

A burial followed the service in the church cemetery.


Following the passing of Newson, his wife Deidra Newson implored online for churches to consider getting AEDs in their buildings, should unexpected emergencies like the one her husband experienced arise. 

AED stands for "Automated External Defibrillator," and it is used to help individuals who may be experiencing sudden cardiac arrest until paramedics can arrive. 

For more information on AEDs, visit the American Red Cross's website HERE to learn more about how you may acquire and operate an AED, should one be needed in the future for yourself or your organization.