We need to pray for Pastor Fred Winters’ family and First Baptist Church of Maryville, IL after Pastor Winters was shot and killed during the church’s 8:15 service.

A statement from the church reads:

On Sunday, March 8, 2009, a little after our 8:15 service began, a man entered First Baptist Church and fired several gunshots at our Senior Pastor, Dr. Fred Winters. Pastor Winters was taken to the hospital but died of his wounds.

Please pray for Dr. Winter’s family, our two brave members who were injured when they stopped the assailant, for the assailant himself and his family, and for our church members as they deal with this tragic loss.

In this day, where uncertainty seems to abound creating an environment in which people are vulnerable in doing things they might not do otherwise, one thing is certain, we, as human beings need a foundation upon which we can live our lives. We at First Baptist Maryville, along with other Christian believers, share this conviction: that foundation is God’s Word. In the pages of the Book we call the Bible, we find the pathway for peace, hope, and a quality of living life despite what circumstances we find ourselves in.

To those who believe in the power of prayer, we covet your prayers right now.

My friend Sam has a statement from his father, Thom Rainer, who was one of Pastor Winter’s seminary professors.  Mark Driscoll shares five questions to heed in light of this tragedy.  Todd Rhodes shares some thoughts on this reminiscing about other pastors that he has known who went to be with the Lord unexpectedly.

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