Monday, Oct. 3, 2016 News 12 NBC 26 at 11 O'Clock
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A church lost for words after a tragic shooting of one of their leaders.
"I was devastated because he was always, to me a peaceful, gentle man," Elder Bill Walden said.
That's how an entire congregation feels after investigators say Elder Frank McNair's wife shot him, in their Bamberg home on Saturday.
"Once we heard the makeup of it, it was even more tragic to us and we didn't know exactly how to handle what was happening," Walden said.
Walden worked closely with McNair for the past two years at St. Noah Church of God in Christ in Aiken. McNair was well known for jumping in and helping and even filling in on the organ on Sunday's.
"We sometimes take for granted the people that are around us that inspire others to be there because we are there," Walden said.
Pastor Roy Hooker was out of town today but says it was hard sitting in the pulpit with an empty void right next to him.
"Sunday it was hard for me a chair on each side to set something in his chair because I just needed some room to put something down and just to think that he wasn't there and he wasn't going to be there anymore," Hooker said.
As for McNair's wife, they say she never attended the church while Frank worked there.
"She was a lovely person, kind of knew her from afar," Hooker said, "But with most church activities unless you spend time with people outside of church you know them in passing."
But now, a whole church congregation will be missing Frank McNair's hugs and passionate messages on Sundays.
"He had a tremendous purpose and he left before his time," Hooker said.
The church is still figuring out a way to honor McNair at church that will honor him.
McNair's wife is in okay condition at Palmetto Richland Hospital. Charges are still pending in this case.