Saluda County, SC (WLTX) - The United Methodist Church of South Carolina issued a statement on the death of the man police say was beaten and killed by his son and daughter-in-law last week.

"The passing of the Rev. Boyd Chewning weighs heavily upon my heart and the hearts of all of those who were touched by his ministry, which stretched over more than 40 years at United Methodist churches across South Carolina," Resident Bishop L. Jonathan Holston said.

According to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the 79-year-old was battered and restrained to a bed using zip ties and rags until he died.

His son, Donald Ralph Chewning, 51, and Kathy Laine Chewning, 48, are both charged with abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death.

According to Holston, Chewning Sr. was ordained in 1965 and served 15 churches throughout South Carolina before retiring as pastor of Emory United Methodist Church in Saluda and Nazareth United Methodist Church near Batesburg-Leesville in 2004.

"The allegations of neglect and abuse serve as a reminder of our obligation as Christians to look out for the defenseless among us," Holston said.