Senior Pastor Dr. Fred Winters was killed this morning while preaching the 8:15a.m. service at Maryville First Baptist Church in Illinois. An assailant entered the church armed with a .45 caliber pistol and started firing. Read more, photos and video below.

Dr Fred Winters Church Shooting

Fred Winters and Family

The unknown assailant entered the church during the early service, walked down the aisle and began to fire his weapon at the pastor. Rev. Winters tried to shield himself from the bullets being sprayed at him with his bible, the only weapon he had. The pistol jammed on the man and he began to stab himself with a knife.

Two parishioners were wounded as they tried to subdue the man. The suspect is currently in serious condition at St. Louis University hospital where he will undergo surgery for his self inflicted wounds. Dr. Fred Winters was pronounced dead on arrival at Anderson hospital.

A worship minister at the church, Mark Jones, says that they have no idea what the suspects motive was, nobody knew him. He simply walked into the church, exchanged a few words with the pastor and then shot him in the chest. Fred Winters was pastor of First Baptist Church for over 20 years, and is a former president of the Illinois Baptist Association. From Skye News:

“Our great God is not surprised by this, or anything,” said Nate Adams, executive director of the association.

“That He allows evil and free will to have their way in tragedies like this is a mystery in many ways.
“But we know we can trust Him no matter what, and draw close to Him in any circumstances.”

Here at Rightpundits our thoughts and prayers are with Dr. Winter’s family and congregation at this difficult time.

More photos and a video of Maryville Illinois Shooting are below.

Fred Winters Maryville Illinois Church shooting
Dr. Fred Winters Photos

Maryville Illinois Church Shooting Video