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Preacher Allegedly Chased Off Unhappy Members With Pistol

August 31, 1987

VERONA, Miss. (AP) _ A preacher faces a weapons charge after he allegedly fired a pistol to chase off dissident members before delivering his sermon.

The Rev. George L. Pritchard, pastor of Morning Star MB Church in Verona, was free on $1,000 bond following his arrest by Lee County sheriff’s deputies. He was charged with pointing, aiming and discharging a deadly weapon, officers said.

Gloria Gasaway, a member of the congregation, said about 25 members confronted Pritchard outside church before services Sunday morning.

The church had voted Pritchard out as pastor on three previous occasions, and the delegation Sunday once again asked him to leave, Gasaway said.

Gasaway said Pritchard told them he would leave and went to his car but allegedly returned with a pistol and fired two shots into the crowd. No one was injured.

After the shots were fired, she said, the group dispersed and Pritchard conducted his regular service. He was arrested by deputies immediately afterward.

Gasaway said the incident stemmed from a long-running feud between two groups at the church, one which wanted to keep Pritchard as minister and another which wanted him out.

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