An 18-year-old woman turned herself in for allegedly murdering a Black pastor who was beloved by his community and seemingly attempting to murder his wife.
According to The Christian Post, Pastor Tim Pearson, of Mt. Mariah Baptist Church in Melvin, Alabama, was allegedly shot and killed by the woman early Saturday morning. Pearson’s wife, Melony, was also injured during the attack.
Choctaw County Sheriff Scott Lolley confirmed that the suspected killer, identified as 18-year-old Melissa Hill, was arrested by police after she turned herself in the same day as the attack. The county coroner further confirmed that there was a suspicion of foul play being involved in Pearson’s death, local news outlet ABC News affiliate WTOK reports.
According to Cornelius Banks, a deacon of the church, the pastor was beloved by the whole community. "He’s like a drawing, he would draw you to Him by what he believed in," Banks said in a statement. "He would help me out a whole lot in the spiritual realm of things," he added.
Pearson had been married to his wife for 34 years and was a pastor for 27. He was the father of three and had a grandson. He was a former marine and graduated from Liberty University’s Liberty Bible Institute in 1993.
Pearson was also a member of the Choctaw County Chamber of Congress in addition to other positions of leadership. He also served as a postmaster. In 2009 he was awarded the Choctaw Citizen of the Year award from the Choctaw Sun-Advocate. He also received the Heart of Gold Volunteer award from United Way of Southern Alabama for his work with United Way.
Hill is currently being held on the murder charges with her bail set to $1,050,000. Her court date has yet to be released and her motives have not been discussed publicly.
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John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Daily Fodder, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.