Chicago Minister Charged in Fatal Shooting of Retired Pastor at Senior Housing Complex

merchant-compressedCHICAGO — A Chicago minister has been charged in the fatal shooting of an elderly retired pastor at a senior housing complex.

According to reports, both men—Ted Merchant, 67, and Allen Smith, 80—lived at Senior Suites of Rainbow Beach and would discuss the Bible on a regular basis.

Smith had served as the pastor at First Baptist Church in East Chicago and Merchant led a ministry called Straight Gate and held services at the senior home.

Resident Dorothy Hull told the Chicago Tribune that the two would often sit on the patio and discuss theology.

“They’d be out there all the time,” she said. “They’d talk about Bible passages and ideas about God. They always had little arguments going on about things like that.”

Hull said that Smith was a kind and generous man.

“He was a very nice person, very outgoing, very friendly,’’ she stated. “He would do things for you, like go to the store or whatever.”

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Resident Ann Harding told the outlet that Merchant seemed to be cordial as well.

“I just know he usually has a few people downstairs for prayers and whatever. He does it for the building,” she said. “He goes around to different apartments to try and get people for a congregation. He was a nice man, you know, when he came to the door.”

While details are not available as to exactly what occurred, it is believed that Merchant pulled a gun on Smith on Sep. 5 during a late night talk on the patio, and shot him dead. Smith’s body was not found until the following morning and surveillance video marked Merchant as the killer.

Merchant is now behind bars on a charge of first-degree murder. Bond has been set at $500,000.

A memorial service was held for Allen at Christian Tabernacle Baptist Church in Hamden, Connecticut as he is attributed to founding the congregation.

“Very sad for a man of God to be taken away from us in this manner,” Wilfred Sealy wrote on the church Facebook page. “We have to continue to pray day by day.”

“Praying for all who knew him and those of us that he helped to build our faith and beliefs,” also commented Tracie Justus. “Just so sad.”

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  • Amazing how heated Christian discussions can become. It splits families, churches, relationships & now even takes lives. One of the saddest things I’ve read.

    • Amos Moses

      it was probably over Arianism (Sabellianism) ………… (just kidding)(or maybe not) ……..

      • Maybe once saved always saved & one said well, we’ll have to see who it’s right. Yea, that was lame.

    • Clae Brewer

      They writer never revealed what the altercation was over.How did you determine it was a heated discussion? “While details are not available as to exactly what occurred,”

      • Well, I’m guessing they weren’t sharing stock options or retirement plans. You don’t up & just shoot somebody over a glass of lemonade not having enough sugar or something.

        • Clae Brewer

          Sure, not picking, but you added you own thesis as to what happen, when no details were available. But I see what you mean.

    • james blue

      Perhaps God and guns really don’t mix

      • xinthose

        Jesus said to sell your cloak and buy a sword. Owning a gun is a righteous thing to do, defending life & liberty.

      • liberals manges le merde

        Probably not . Except for Islam though right ? Surely , all of those muslims wouldn’t use a gun for anything violent. Or a box cutter or fertilizer or box trucks or cell phones as detonators .

  • Robert

    Romans chapter 5 Verses 6 through 8

  • Robert

    Could it be a case of “SImuli justus est piccator ” ?

  • Robert

    Simul justus et peccatar imputed righteous of christ through faith in him and sinner at the same exact time.or staint and sinner st the. Same time … See Romans 4;5-7 psalms 32:1-2. Could be such s case .. only God knows the heart. Gods bledsings

    • Amos Moses

      spell check and proof read ……..

  • xinthose

    let this be a warning to the saints, take heed lest ye fall; the devil entered him, don’t let him enter you!

  • Gena B

    Why did he have a gun in that place? Hopefully his time in prison will teach him what it means to be a Christian and he can lead others.