St. Peter’s Missionary Baptist Church services resumed on Sunday – a week after the pastor William B. Schooler was shot and killed inside the Dayton church.
Around 40 church members, relatives and visitors attended the service that spanned more than three hours.
Pastor Anthony Kimbro, Schooler’s nephew and a Los Angeles, Ca. resident led the Sunday service that focused on unity, faith, love and forgiveness.
“God has a way of telling us,” Kimbro said. “… God has a way of telling us, ‘You hold on. Hold on to me.’”
Kimbro and other members of the church who addressed the congregation emphasized the church would continue to operate after the pastor’s tragic murder last week.
“The church is really inside us,” said Mary Martin, a church member, to the congregation. “…We praise God for the building he has provided for us to come together and worship, but we don’t worship the building.”
Loretta Smith, another church member, shared some of her memories of Schooler and encouraged the congregation to pray for his family.
“I would like to say I have had my moments during this time of bereavement, but the Lord gave me strength,” she said. “He gave me strength to carry on. He (Schooler) was my friend, my buddy and my pastor. And we shared some good times together and we shared some not too good times together.”
Schooler, 70, died Sunday at St. Peter’s Missionary on Nancy Avenue after his brother Daniel Schooler allegedly shot him four times with a stolen .380 caliber handgun in his office while the choir was singing near the end of services, according to police.
The reverend’s wife, Helen, witnessed the final shot, according to court documents.
According to police reports, Daniel Schooler laid the gun down and waited for officers to arrive after the shooting.
Daniel Schooler, 68, has been charged in the pastor’s death and is facing two counts of murder, one count of aggravated murder, two counts of felonious assault and two counts of having weapons under disability.
Daniel Schooler pleaded not guilty on the charges and is scheduled for preliminary hearing on Wednesday in Dayton Municipal Court.
The suspect is being held in the Montgomery County Jail on $1 million cash or surety.