CHICAGO (AP) - The suburban St. Louis pastor who was gunned down
while delivering his Sunday sermon is being remembered as smart,
dedicated and easy to relate to. So much so, everyone simply called
him "Pastor Fred."
The Rev. Fred Winters was shot by a gunman who opened fire at
First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill. The 45-year-old Winters was
later pronounced dead at a hospital.
A church spokesman says Winters, a married father of two, was
the driving force at the church since becoming senior pastor in
1987, when average attendance was around 30 people. Under his
guidance, the congregation swelled by hundreds.
One church member says Winters was "extremely likable," adding
she can't imagine him having any enemies.
Another member says: "Beyond everything else, he had a love for
God and a love for people."