Man arrested, church cope with pastor's murder - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Man arrested, church cope with pastor's murder

By Curtis McCloud -   bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Joan Gibson calls the death of her brother, Reverend Blanchard Thomas, a case of mistaken identity.

"All I know right now is that he had given a young lady a ride home from Phenix City to Columbus. We know they had mistaken for the wrong person that supposedly had done this young lady some bodily harm. This is just unnecessary. They didn't have to do what they did to him," Gibson said.

Columbus police have arrested 23-year-old Joel Thomas, the first suspect in custody for this murder. Meanwhile it was a somber evening at Pastor Thomas' church.

Faithful member Walter Dix owns a grocery store around the corner from Mount Missouri Baptist Church.

Thinking back four days ago to Sunday's service, he never thought something like this would happen.

"Members were talking about how he really preached and they all enjoyed him so today we are without a pastor and it's so sad that we lost our pastor in that way," Dix said.

Dix says it's a difficult time for the church congregation. He says members of Mount Missouri Baptist in Columbus are not focusing on what's next but coming together to comfort each other.

"Right now we are trying to get over this, you know what really happened people are frustrated and everything," Dix said.

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