Monday, March 8, 2010

March 8th

One year ago today John, Reagan and I flew into St. Louis, MO at 7:30am. Then drove to FBC Maryville to be presented to the church in view of a call. We pulled in to the parking lot and one of the ministers asked if we were ready to go into the sanctuary. I asked for 10 minutes to feed Reagan. So I went into the nursing room and John and Rich went upstairs to some Sunday School classes. I finished feeding Reagan and was getting up to go when John and another woman came in to the room shut the door, locked it and turned out the light. John then tells me there has been a shooting. I just clenched Reagan to me. I began to hear screaming and wailing outside the room. The police then came and got everyone out of the preschool area and directed everyone to the gym. We were told that Pastor Fred Winters had been shot and two others wounded. We were in the gym for a couple of hours. Here we are not knowing anyone (except the staff who were trying to help with all the chaos). Finally the administrator came and got us to escort us to the parking lot to his wife. On the way out he told us that they hadn't told anyone yet, but Pastor Fred did not make it. We were in complete an utter shock!! The administrators wife took us to her house. John, Reagan and I went into a room and began to call our family and friends to let them know that we were okay. After we had made all the calls we just sat and stared at each other. We couldn't believe what was happening. We prayed for everyone involved especially for Fred's wife and two daughters. We then began to ask each other what were we supposed to do. Fly home that day (we were supposed to stay two more days to look for a house). What did this mean for the job situation. So many questions and so many emotions. The administrator came and took us to our hotel. We sat on the bed and watched the story on tv. That night another local church opened up their building for us to have a worship service. It was very emotional. The next day the church leadership met and said they wanted to move forward with John because that was what Fred wanted. Lots of people asked why we would still want to come to FBC Maryville in light of the tragedy. My response is always that we don't let Satan dictate what we do. God had us there that day for a purpose.

Yesterday we had two special services for reflecting and remembering Pastor Fred. Fred's beautiful wife Cindy spoke. It was amazing to hear her world that day. She was open and honest and God was glorified yesterday! She presented the Gospel at the end. Just an incredible service. Then last night Fee Band came and led just our church family in worship. It was just an amazing time of worship and healing.

If you would like to watch one of our services from yesterday you can copy and paste this link in your browser and then click on Remebering and Reflecting: One Year Later.

Please continue to keep Cindy, her daughters and our church in your prayers.

1 comment:

  1. Beth, I watched the video and I’m just amazed. What a powerful testimony and life Cindy has shared. In considering the position I am so proud of you and John for making the decision to follow the hand of God where he was leading you. In many ways I can’t blame you for wanting to go, and be exactly where God must have been doing great and mighty things. It is easy to see that Pastor Fred lead an amazing congregation filled with love, hope and joy.
    One of Cindy’s closing statements was that March 8th was a terrible day for everyone, but Fred. That is such a powerful statement. May God continue to bless you, heal your church and prosper all those that are following in His steps. Thanks for sharing.