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Religion Today Blog Christian Blog and Commentary

Pastor Shoots and Kills Fellow Pastor over Bible Argument

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Sep 09
  • Comments

A 67-year-old retired pastor reportedly shot a fellow retired pastor when the two got into an argument about the Bible in the senior home where they both lived.

According to, 67-year-old wheelchair-bound Ted Merchant shot 80-year-old Allen Smith twice in the head, killing him immediately after the two men had a disagreement about the Bible.

Residents of Senior Suites of Rainbow Beach in Chicago where Merchant and Smith lived reported that the two former pastors often debated about the Bible out on the complex’s back patio.

They'd be out there all the time," said Dorothy Hull, a retiree also living at Rainbow Beach. "They'd talk about Bible passages and ideas about God. They always had little arguments going on about things like that."

Hull added that she never thought the two men’s arguments would turn violent.

"It was very surprising," she said. "I just can't get over it because he [Merchant] had a church in the community room every Sunday morning. He was retired, too, but he had this church going on. I just couldn't believe he did that."

Merchant reportedly fled the murder scene in his motorized wheelchair, but was arrested three blocks away. He was charged with first degree murder.


Publication date: September 9, 2016