This morning a gunman opened fire during the church service of First Baptist Church of Maryville, IL (about 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis), killing the senior pastor, Fred Winter. Rev. Dr. Winters was in the pulpit at the time. He sought to shield the bullets with his Bible, but died from a gunshot wound to his chest. The shooter's gun jammed, and he stabbed himself with a knife. Others were injured in an attempt to restrain him. At this time only one death has been reported.
Dr. Winters had been their Senior Pastor since 1987, the same year that he was married to his wife Cindy Lee. He received a BA from Southwest Baptist University (1986), an MA in Systematic Theology and Church History from Wheaton (1986), an MDiv from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (1991), and a PhD from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He was the former president of the Illinois Baptist State Association and an adjunct professor at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He is survived by his wife and two children, Alysia Grace and Cassidy Hope.
Please pray for his family, for this family of brothers and sisters in Christ, and for the unnamed gunman.
Dr. Winter was a graduate of two of my alma maters: Southwest Baptist University and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.