More than likely, you have heard of the tragedy that took place last Sunday at First Baptist Church in Maryville, Illinois as pastor Fred Winters was shot and killed during a church service by Terry Sedlacek, apparently a mentally ill young man. Al Meredith from Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth spoke at the church today. I traveled with Al to Brazil in 1991. Tragically, in 1999 a gunman entered Wedgewood B.C. and killed 7 people before killing himself.
Remarkably, the pastor’s wife, Cindy Winters spoke yesterday saying that she along with her daughters are praying for the gunman and his family.
This week I received an email from a professor at Midwestern seminary where Fred Winters taught saying:
“Thanks for your prayers. Fred’s daughter’s are at an age where this can be very tragic, so please uphold the family during this time of trial. Fred’s faith was strong in the Lord, and truly one whose “Life was given, not taken” when he accepted the call to ministry 25 years ago.
Several memorials are being planned, and the church is responding to the family and one another with the type of love, compassion and faith that would make any pastor proud!
Those of us who worked with Fred at Midwestern will miss him.
Please pray for the shooter, the more we learn about his condition (Lime’s disease), it becomes apparent that this was one of several unfortunate actions caused, at least in part, by the disease. Praise God he is still alive, and we are praying that he might, in a time of clarity, understand the love, forgiveness and salvation of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
Thanks for your prayers for those who have been directly affected by this tragedy.