Memorial service held for pastor shot at church

Memorial service held for Pastor Harris

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - Fifty-three-year-old Woodrow Karey Jr., the man accused of shooting Pastor Ronald Harris Sr. during a church service in September, remains in the Calcasieu Correctional Center on bond for a second-degree murder charge.

On Thursday, friends and family of Harris filled the True Light Missionary Baptist Church for a memorial service.

Harris' daughter, Talisha, spoke with KPLC off camera and said right now, family and friends are trying to stay positive and heal – not only as a family – but also as a congregation.

Many wore shirts at the service in memory of the pastor who led them for some 20 years at his church/ Tabernacle of Praise.

The message was clear; it was about healing and forgiving.

But many also addressed the speculation about what led to the shooting that night.

One pastor said, "There's three sides to stories. There's your side, their side, and truth. And when truth is gone, everything else is speculation, not information. So, we're here tonight to put all that aside and try to heal two families."

Another friend said, "I've only known you guys to be holy and for him to be a man of God and a father to me, nothing else."

"He was a man of God. Despite what anybody else says, people are going to gossip, but he was a man of God," said yet another friend.

Many also shared memories of happier times.

"I never will forget the time when we went to Florida. I came back and was red, sunburned. He thought it was so funny," shared another church member.

Others said they'll miss the man who loved to fish.

Song and prayer filled the night, all carrying an uplifting message.

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Funeral information:

Wake: Friday, Oct. 11 from 6-9 p.m. at the Agape Love Center at 1515 Texas Street in Nachitoches.

Visitation: Saturday, Oct. 12 from 9-11 a.m. at the Ben Johnson Auditorium located at 400 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Nachitoches.

Funeral: Saturday, Oct. 12 at 11 a.m. at the Ben Johnson Auditorium located at 400 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Nachitoches.

Arrangements are being handled by Fondel Memorial Chapel in Lake Charles.

Link to case report by Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office: