BREAKING NEWS: Pastor Shot Dead in Pulpit in Illinois

Monday, March 9, 2009

By George Whitten, International Correspondent

MARYVILLE, ILLINOIS (Worthy News) -- The sprawling First Baptist Church in the U.S. state of Illinois was without a pastor Monday, March 9, after he was shot and later died of his injuries.

At least two other churchgoers were also wounded, but survived the attack in Maryville, about 20 miles (30 kilometers)  north-east of St Louis, Missouri, police said.

Worshipers said they initially weren't alarmed when a young man they didn't recognize walked up the church's center aisle during the early morning sermon and exchanged words with Pastor Fred Winters Sunday, March 8. Until he opened fire.

The gunman, identified by authorities as a 27-year-old from Troy, pulled out a .45 caliber handgun "and shot Winters three times in the chest," said Ralph Timmins of the Illinois State Police, who is handling the investigation.

USING BIBLE

Winters was using his Bible to shield himself from the bullets fired at him, he added. Churchgoers wrestled the gunmen to the ground as he brandished a knife to kill himself as his gun jammed, police said.  Winters later died of his injuries.

"Some parishioners tackled him and held him on the floor," Timmins said. Two of the parishioners who jumped on the shooter received “non-life threatening” injuries from the knife, Timmons added.

About 150 people were attending the service at the time of the shooting. The church has an average attendance of more than 1,200 and was officially organized on March 4, 1945, according to their Web site.

The latest incident was expected to reignite a debate on the many guns available in the United States and growing attacks against churches. "The shooting this morning is a tragic situation, but unfortunately, one that has been witnessed many times over the years," Jeffrey Hawkins, executive director of the Christian Security Network (CSN), which advises churches and other Christian institutions on security issues.

In the first two months of this year, CSN registered 139 incidents in 31 states "against Christian churches, schools and ministries," he said in a statement monitored by Worthy News.

"This most recent violent incident against a Christian church in a small town in downstate Illinois is another reminder that these incidents are not going to stop and can occur anywhere, at any time. The only recourse that churches have to is to acknowledge that it can happen to them and to be prepared," he added.

Funeral arrangements for the pastor were not immediately announced.

10 thoughts on “BREAKING NEWS: Pastor Shot Dead in Pulpit in Illinois

  1. Psalms 116> is perfect on this pastor's murder. All day yesterday I searched the net to find anything on him that would make me think that there might be some dry in his background and found only a man who loved The Lord. I found his last sermon and I always ask The Lord for Him to have matching chapters and verse. In in The Pastor's last sermon he quote 1 Timothy 6:6 in this verse it talks about contentment my those who loved find that contentment and rejoice with me that he now is that the right hand of God and soon and very soon we will be rejoicing with him there amen

    Your is Christ Jesus Amen

    my thought is death where is your victory where is your sting
    '

  2. "For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. " (Mark 8:35).
    Be strong... Always.!!

  3. We need to fully acknowlege the Persecuted Church, and stop allowing our Sunday School rooms to deny its existence. When people are dying for our Lord and Savior, the last thing that is probably on their mind is Pre-trib doctrine. Yes, God is permitting his beloved to suffer. But it is precious in His sight. God remembers and keeps all of His childrens tears. He remembers all of our Petitions.(read Revelations) Today's martyrs probably could care less about the escatology that is so faddish here in the west. Our focus on escatology has emboldened our enemy. The "Left Behind" mentality has sent a message to the enemy of our Souls that we are frightened of persecution. I pray that we are all ready for our big test. May all that are saved by the Precious Blood of Christ be united forsaking all doctrine that tears us apart. Nothing but the Blood gets us to heaven. The rest is all icing on the cake.

    • Amen to that. God has never "taken out" any of His people but is able to see them through
      the valley of the shadow of death. Blessings to the family & fellowship of this dear Baptist
      pastor.

    • "... The rest is all icing on the cake." Please read and think on II Timothy 3:16 -17. "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." - NASB
      Fred Winters no doubt counted it an honour to preach all of the counsel of God, -
      Act 20:24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
      Act 20:25 And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more.
      Act 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I [am] pure from the blood of all [men].
      Act 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. - NASB
      I never knew my brother, but I can and do, thank my God for him. My prayers are for his family and friends who will have to wait to see him again. I trust they can rejoice in his life - In Jesus

  4. Truthers who know,

    Please visit http://www.brandonkastning.net to learn about Jesus’s Return, I am on a mission to spread the truth about the NWO and how it coincides with the Bible and Prophecy.

    But I need your help. The government is throwing monkey wrenches at me.

    Brothers and Sisters,

    Please spread the word!

    God Bless All of You.

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