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Minister Shot To Death During Church Service

September 19, 1993

NORTH SALEM, Ind. (AP) _ A Methodist minister was finishing his sermon Sunday when a woman shot him to death in front of his horrified congregation and 13-year-old daughter, police said. A woman he once dated was arrested.

The Rev. Roland Phillips, 36, of North Salem, was concluding the sermon before about 25 people at the United Methodist Church when he was shot three times in the chest, said Lt. Terry Brinker, a Hendricks County Sheriff’s spokesman. He died on the way to a hospital.

Brinker said Elizabeth S. Mayberry of Bloomington approached Phillips during the sermon and asked to speak with him, but the minister asked her to wait until he was finished.

Mayberry then stood next to Phillips until he was concluding the sermon, when she pulled out a gun and shot him three times in the chest, Brinker said.

Authorities said a member of the congregation wrestled Mayberry to the ground while another parishioner took away the gun. A fourth shot was fired during the struggle, but it harmlessly hit a railing in front of the congregation.

Mayberry, 36, was held at the Hendricks County Jail. She was expected to make a court appearance Monday, Brinker said.

Phillips, who was divorced, once dated Mayberry, Brinker said. But he added that police had no idea what prompted the killing.

The minister’s 13-year-old daughter, Rachel, was in church when her father was killed, Brinker said.

The minister’s father, Roland Phillips Sr. of Hopkinsville, Ky., suffered chest pains after learning of his son’s death. He was taken to a hospital in Hopkinsville, then transferred to the Regional Medical Center in Madisonville, Ky., where his condition was being evaluated.

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