Pastor murder leaves community heart-broken - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Pastor murder leaves community heart-broken

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Story by Antwan Harris
Eyewitness News Reporter

MONROE COUNTY, TN (WRCB) --Bill Burgess shocked by Darrell Franklin's death said, "I lost a son, I lost a brother in Christ, but I lost a son."

Burgess said the aftershock of Franklin's murder is still rippling throughout the Madisonville community.

Franklin was killed Wednesday by friend and co-worker Darrell Hester in what is believed to be a work-related dispute.

Athens Police Chief Chuck Ziegler said it's always tough to get answers in a case like this because neither men was from the area.

Ziegler said, "It is always difficult but yes it is under these circumstances where it is so unusual and so odd for this type of situation to occur."

Burgess said Franklin was just about to celebrate 14 years in the ministry and had planned a mission trip to the Holy Land in Jerusalem.

He says Wednesday night's service, was somber and prayerful.

Burgess said, "I just could not believe it because he would have given the shirt off his back. We are living in a sin-cursed world and things are bad."

He hopes others at the church will carry on the legacy of Franklin as he plans to.

Burgess said, the only thing binding the congregation together, is faith.

"I will never let his ministry die as long as I'm alive. You will see him alive on TV."

According to Burgess members in the congregation will continue to pastor the church until a new pastor is chosen.

He says the pastor was very involved in international ministry, even helping Haitian countries.

The family is planning funeral arrangements.

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