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How to die glorifying God.

March 8, 2009

fredwintersPray for the family and church of Pastor Fred Winters.  As I was driving home from our gathering today I heard he’d been shot to death in his pulpit.  A gunman opened fire during the church service of FBC Maryville (about 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis), killing Dr. Winters. He was in the pulpit at the time and tried to shield 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.

Pastor Winters had come to FBC, Maryville (Illinois) when he was 23 years old and the church was a couple dozen people.  There were about 1,200 people gathered for worship today.

A man that gave his life to the ministry of God’s Word died behind his pulpit.  If I could choose a way to go…

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Nancy permalink
    March 9, 2009 1:53 am

    My prayers go out to the wife and daughters of Pastor Winters
    and his congregation.
    I didn’t know him, but I am very sad as a Christian that he was
    This act of murder comes from Satan himself.
    I beleive we are in the last days.
    Murder and Suicide are becoming rampant in the churches.
    My church here in Colorado, Bear Valley Church was threatened.
    The church had received a call that a man was going to cause
    harm in the church.
    Police were there and it didn’t materialize, Thank God!!
    I am a 56 year old woman, my father had been a minister, never
    did we hear years back ,of people going in an shooting up a church or killing
    the pastor or committing suicide in the church, the church was the place to go and pray and worship
    God,the devil is seeking who he may devour and destroy.
    He has lost the battle, Jesus has already won the battle on the cross
    for us, with his shed blood for ours sins and ressurection.
    Pastor Winters was a good and faithful servant and I am sure God
    is well pleased Pastor Winters died glorifying God, he died as a servant of Jesus Christ, preaching the
    word of God.

  2. brian permalink
    March 9, 2009 2:39 am

    Too often we think of persecution as being across the world or only in the history books. We are beginning to see what a world and culture that is hostile towards the gospel is capable of doing.

    Two things we need to be reminded of:

    1. Persecution is God ordained and results almost entirely in His church following with a more sincere devotion.

    2. Preachers, preach the word. In season and out. A time is coming and is now here when people will want their ears tickled, don’t give in. Be faithful to God and to the scriptures.

  3. March 9, 2009 8:30 am

    Given my own selfishness, I’d like to go in my sleep.

    The Bible and church history messes with me though… It seems that when there was persecution of Christians the gospel spread like wildfire. This is true not only in biblical history but also in history since that time. I only hope that, if called to die for Christ, I would, through the power of the Holy Spirit, be able to do so.

  4. songbea permalink
    March 9, 2009 11:26 pm

    Before my children is all I can think…Of course part of me wants to say something really meaningful or talk about some really brave way to go…doing something meaningful or important…but all that comes to mind is that I hopefully have honored my parents well enough to earn me long life and still getting to go home before my kids…

  5. March 10, 2009 5:15 pm

    Josh, Dr. Winters’ brother and family go to my church. I was actually serving in the nursery with them on Sunday mornung. Please continue to pray for them as well, as he was very close to his brother.

  6. josh permalink
    March 10, 2009 5:20 pm

    @Jenny – you got it.

  7. TomS - AUSCON4 permalink
    March 11, 2009 1:54 am

    I am a member of First Baptist of Maryville, and proud to say that I am a soldier of Christ and was baptized by Pastor Fred. He also renewed the vows for my wife and I. There was no more Godly of a man that I knew. For a congreation of almost 2000, he knew everyone’s name… what a Godly gift. And cared of EVERYONE in his flock… what a greater gift of caring that he had. He took a church of 20 and in 20 years turned it into 2000. Pastor Fred assembled such a talented and “Christ-driven” pastoral staff that I know will be able to guide us through this tragedy.
    The funeral for Pastor Fred is scheduled for Friday at 10:30AM (Central Time) at our church, and when that time passes on your clock, if you have time, please say a prayer specifically for his wife Cindy and her two daughters. Two daughters that won’t get to grow up in the presence of their father. But God the Father is STILL in control. Our church wil overcome this as Pastor Fred would want and a REVIVAL will happen in our area. God allowed Satan to touch our church but the devil has no idea what he’s just done. The Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be GLORIFIED in this tragic act.
    Great is thy Faithfulness!!
    Lamentaions 3: 22-24

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