COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Minister Loretta Williams walked up the steps to Grace Holiness church on 12th Avenue in the Columbus' Beallwood community for the last time.
From the pulpit, Williams preached her final sermon. The pastor, we're told, felt strongly about asking Williams to bring the message that night.
"I understand Pastor Berry was prompted by the Lord to call and asked her to do the sermon. She said enthusiastically, 'yes, yes, pastor'. But little did I know, that it would be her last sermon," explained Williams.
Minister Angela Miller-Shelton says she and Williams shared a special bond as stepmother and stepdaughter who walked closely together in their faith. Miller-Shelton recounted how there was something strikingly different about the way Williams preached the word to the congregation Friday than in previous messages.
"Her favorite scripture came from Matthew 7:24…'build your house on a solid foundation, a solid rock' and she was just so joyful and she had so much life in her."
The next morning Williams followed her regular routine as she did 6 days a week, walking with a group from Shirley Winston Park past Peter's Chapel AME church. It was at another church where the walk went all too wrong. The driver in a Muscogee County School pick- up truck somehow left the roadway and ended up on the sidewalk striking Williams and two other people.
"We want to know was he speeding, why did he lose control of the wheel."
Alfie Johnson, a part-time employee, was behind the wheel. The cause of the accident is still under investigation.
The families of the victims are waiting to hear answers as they prepare to bury Loretta Williams, a woman of faith. One of daughters recently graduated from Muscogee County's Early College—a program geared towards equipping first generation college students to achieve their goals.
News Leader 9 has learned no alcohol test was performed on Johnson. Police say there was no probable cause to do so. They are still trying to determine if speed played a role in the accident.
The investigation is expected to take two weeks.