Deaths of pastor, wife, ruled murder/suicide

Two Baptist churches in North Carolina are baffled by the deaths of a well-liked couple that police say resulted from a murder and a suicide.

By Bob Allen

The deaths of a Baptist pastor and his wife discovered Aug. 20 by their granddaughter in the patio area of their home in Lumberton, N.C., have been ruled a murder-suicide.

charlotte scottThe Robeson County Sheriff’s Office released a statement over the weekend saying that 68-year-old Bill Scott, interim pastor at Charity Baptist Church of Gray’s Creek, N.C., shot Charlotte Scott, 64, before turning a handgun on himself.

A memorial service for Charlotte Scott was held Sunday at East Lumberton Baptist Church, where both remained active members during her husband’s three-year interim pastorate. Funeral arrangements for Bill Scott are pending.

“We have had a tragedy occur within our church family today,” a posting on the East Lumberton Baptist Church Facebook page reported Aug. 20. “Two of our dearest saints, Rev. Bill and Charlotte Scott, have gone to be with the Lord. The details of the situation are still unknown so just be in prayer for the family during this time.”

bill scottThe local newspaper, the Robesonian, quoted a deacon at Charity Baptist who said the news came as a shock, and church members really don’t know what to make of it.

Deacon Wayne McIntosh said Bill Scott got involved at Charity Baptist while it was divided, and the congregation felt he and his wife “were God-sent” to reunite the church.

Michael Bowen, the pastor at East Lumberton Baptist Church since February 2013, told the Robesonian the Scotts seemed like a happy couple and were raising their granddaughter.

Charlotte Scott was born in Dodge City, Kan., on Sept. 28, 1949, to the late Frank and Jane Gifford. She was a retired employee of the U.S. Postal Service in Lumberton, a talented seamstress and enjoyed cooking.

Survivors include a son, four daughters, two grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Memorial donations may be made to: East Lumberton Baptist Church, 201 Old Whiteville Road, Lumberton, NC 28358.