A man driving a dead man''s car turned himself in at a police substation on Tuesday, saying he killed someone.
Investigators said 24-year-old Terrence Wright confessed to killing a man in the 1600 block of North Market Street by beating him in the head with a hammer. Police went to that address and found a body in the kitchen of the home just before noon.
"He confessed he had taken somebody's life," said Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Sgt. Lonnie Mills. "He was in the victim's vehicles when he arrived."
Police identified the victim as 76-year-old John Bowser, founder of the Glorious Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The church is located at 213 East 6th Street -- only a few hundred feet from where his body was found.
Police said Wright told them his motivation for the killing was to steal money so he could buy crack cocaine. Wright was charged with murder.
According to records, Wright was just released from the Duval County jail 12 days ago on a May 2012 conviction for petty theft and violation of probation. He had also served nearly two years in state prison on an October 2009 conviction for drug possession.
Church members said Bowser, who lived in Virginia, has several affiliated churches along the East Coast and founded the Springfield church in Springfield church 30 years ago. They said he visits regularly and had just preached at a revival on Sunday.
"Right now I'm in a state of shock, disbelief," said church elder Fred Vance Jr. "He was a fine man; tip top. The top of the line in teaching. A man that knows the Bible. He is good."
Kilise Wiggins said Bowser was his landlord, but much more than that.
"He was one of the most fairest understanding men I ever known," Wiggins said. "Right now. I am so upset. I'm in the dark and lost. All we can do know is pray and ask God to give us strength."