Book recounts aftermath of church shooting

| March 28, 2013

EDWARDSVILLE – Faith is what kept Cindy Winters alive following a tragic event that forever changed her family four years ago.

Hundreds of people attended a reception Sunday at the Wildey Theatre to hear her story and to pick up a copy of her new book, "Reflections from the Pit."

Winters' life changed on March 9, 2009. She was on her way to the First Baptist Church of Maryville when she learned her husband, the Rev. Fred Winters, was shot three times while standing at the pulpit.

After 20 years of marriage, Winters lost her partner, the father of her children and the "love of her life." She felt as though she lost everything and to make matters worse, she felt alone.

"There's a lot of isolation when someone is grieving," Winters said. "People are afraid to talk to you – afraid of saying the wrong thing."

Winters shares her story of grief and loss and the journey she has taken back to the living in the book.

"My whole desire with this book is to get it into the hands of people who have experienced tragedy or loss, and give them hope and encouragement," she said.

Sherry Hurst of Maryville, a parishioner at the church for the past 23 years, said she wasn't at church when Winters was shot, but as a congregation everyone felt the loss and the pain. She said the tragic event pulled the congregation and the community together.

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Category: Church Security

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