By Bob Allen
A memorial service is scheduled Saturday for a Baptist minister’s wife found slain July 23 in her home in Birmingham, Ala.
First Baptist Church of Birmingham released a statement July 25 announcing the death of long-time church member Karen Shahan, a member of the church choir and wife of Richard Shahan, the church’s pastor to children and families.
Visitation will be at First Baptist Church at 11 a.m., Saturday, July 27, followed by a memorial service beginning at noon. Survivors include her husband, two sons and two grandchildren.
“The cause of Karen Shahan’s death is undetermined at this time,” the church statement said. “The Homewood Police Department is investigating the circumstances of the occurrence. No further information relating to the police investigation has been made available to First Baptist Church of Birmingham.”
Police aren’t saying much about the investigation on a quiet street in Homewood unfamiliar with violent crime. The Birmingham News reported that police have interviewed Shahan’s husband, who reportedly had gone to Fort Campbell, Ky., to visit one of their sons when her body was discovered.
On Wednesday, members of First Baptist Church of Birmingham gathered for their weekly dinner and Bible study less than a block away.
“She was a lovely person,” Bill Gladden, a church member and former attorney who works with the church on legal issues, told the Birmingham News. Gladden said Karen Shahan was a very active and well-loved member of the church.
Church officials said the family is asking for memorial gifts to be made to First Baptist Church of Birmingham’s children’s ministry in lieu of flowers.