A minister active in the civil rights movement was found beaten to death Friday in his church hours after he returned from the Democratic convention, and police charged a nearby resident with murder.

The Rev. Robert Wesby, 61, who headed the branch of Operation PUSH in this Chicago suburb, was killed with a "large, sharp instrument," Kane County Coroner Mary Lou Kearns said.Associates described Wesby as a longtime friend or colleague of Democratic presidential contender Jesse Jackson, founder of Chicago-based Operation PUSH. Wesby was not listed as a Jackson delegate, but had apparently gone to the convention to support Jackson.

Wesby's body was found shortly before 10 a.m., about two hours after he returned from Atlanta, said Becky Jones, who was answering telephones at his Progressive Baptist Church, about 35 miles west of Chicago. Wesby founded the church 25 years ago.