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Crime scene investigator named LifeWay photographer

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Kent Harville joined the LifeWay Christian Resources’ communications department May 15 as corporate visuals coordinator.

Harville is a 22-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department where he worked as a crime scene investigator for 15 years and in the CSI digital imaging lab for two years.

Harville often took photos of crime scenes, collected evidence, fingerprinted victims and created the sketches and diagrams necessary to help solve the crime, which included burglaries, rapes, assaults with a deadly weapon and homicides.

“One thing people always ask me about working homicides and dealing with death is ‘How can you do it?'” Harville said. “I’ve always told them that I can leave this at work because I’m a Christian and because I am actively involved in my church, and that helps keep things evenly balanced.”

Yet, while his faith may have helped him to deal with the gruesome nature of his work, nothing had fully prepared him for the horror of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, Harville said. During the days following the bombing, Harville took aerial photos of the Alfred. P. Murrah Federal Building and worked in the temporary morgue set up in downtown Oklahoma City, photographing and fingerprinting victims in order to identify them.

Where the CSI team could identify the adults by their dental work or fingerprints on file, the children were usually too young to ID that way, Kent said.

“A really unique way that we identified the children was that we went out to their houses or cars, places where they played and dusted toys or little things they had touched. We would get their latent fingerprints, take those prints back and compare them to the ink prints that we took from the bodies,” Harville said.

The Oklahoma native has worked as a freelance photographer for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma for the past 17 years. In 1985, he began working in the darkroom at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meetings moving to SBC photographer in 1996.

He has also worked in the dark room during Billy Graham’s 1986 Itinerant Evangelists’ meeting in Amsterdam, and taken photographs for the Baptist World Alliance in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1995.

“So, basically I’ve just done this for several years, and I’ve always enjoyed the convention and shooting for Southern Baptists,” Harville said. “So, I thought this would be a great opportunity.”

Harville is a 1979 graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University with a degree in religion. He and his wife, Barbara, who was employed by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in the areas of video and religious education, have two daughters, Amber, 23, preschool minister at New Church in Oklahoma City; and Allison, 16.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: KENT HARVILLE.

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  • Mandy Crow