It has happened again…
A man in Illinois walked into a church Sunday morning and killed the Pastor …during the church service.
Senior Pastor, Dr. Fred Winters of First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois was standing in the pulpit of his church during the 8am service, when a man walked in the church, walked down the isle and open fired, shooting and killing the Pastor before parishioners could tackle and disarm him. The Pastor was reportedly shot three times. According to CNN (read the entire story HERE) After the gunman shot the Pastor he reportedly pulled out a knife and stabbed himself. Two of the parishioners attempting to disarm him also received non-life threatening wounds.
Pastor Winters, a husband and a father of two teen daughters has been the Pastor of First Baptist Church since 1987 to a congregation of approximately 1200 people. It is not known if the gunman knew the Pastor. Reportedly the gunman spoke briefly with Pastor Winters and then open fired with a 45. caliber pistol.
My prayers and condolences go out to the family of this Pastor. My prayers also go out to the church, community and all effected by this crime.
This is not the first killing in a church.
In November 2008, Joseph Pallipurath walked into a church in Clifton NJ and shot and killed his estranged wife.
In July 2008, Jim Adkisson open fired, killing two people at a Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville TN.