Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church announced that members will gather for morning worship “in the wake of unfathomable loss and grief in the hope of Christ’s Resurrection.”
Worship services will begin at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, according to the church’s website.
Walter “Bart” Rainey, 84, of Irondale, Sarah Yeager, 75, of Pelham and a third person were killed in the shooting attack Thursday night. Police did not release the name of the third victim, an 84-year-old woman, due to her family’s request for privacy.
Robert Findlay Smith, 70, was charged with capital murder in the deaths of the three church-goers. Police have not disclosed a motive for the shooting at a “Boomers Potluck” in the suburbs of Birmingham.
Smith is a federally licensed gun dealer who allegedly failed to keep a record of a weapon he’d sold business is listed at his home address, according to Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives records.
He received a warning letter in 2018 from federal authorities for failing to keep a record of the disposition of all firearms, according a joint investigation by The Trace and USA Today. The report revealed he had 86 weapons in his inventory during the inspection period.
The Rev. Doug Carpenter, a former pastor at the church, said that on Thursday evening the gunman attended the gathering and refused an offer of a plate of food — before suddenly pulling out a handgun and opening fire.
A church member, — Jim Musgrove, who is in his 70s — then hit the shooter with a chair, pinning him to the floor and wrestling away his gun, Carpenter, told a local outlet.
“He hit him with a folding chair, wrestling him to the ground, took the gun from him and hit him in the head with his own gun,” the retired pastor said.
With Post wires