Sunday morning, March 8, Pastor Fred Winters was shot and killed while delivering his sermon to his congregation. First Baptist Church of Maryville, Illinois, near St. Louis, was gathered for worship when 27 year-old Terry Sedlacek walked down the aisle firing a .45 caliber pistol. At this writing the motive for the shooting is unknown and apparently no one in the church knew Sedlacek personally.
CBS Morning News recently interviewed Rev. Winters wife, Cindy, who apparently feels forgiveness for her husband’s killer and compassion for Sedlacek’s parents. She credits the power of Christ for empowering her heart with forgiveness and compassion.
Watch CBS Videos Online
I believe in the power of Christ to comfort and to forgive. However, in the first couple of minutes of Cindy’s interview I was concerned about how much reality had really hit her heart. By the end of the interview it was clear to me that not only was Cindy in touch with reality but that God was also empowering her to be an inspiring example of the difference it makes to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
I don’t know the Winters family or anyone in their church but there is deep love in my heart for them. I pray for Christ to continue to be glorified in this story and for His healing touch in their hearts in the months to come.