Last Monday night, Marla Tabb was found murdered in the parsonage of the First United Methodist Church of Troup. While Sheriff's investigated the crime, the community was stunned at the brutal murder that took place behind their church. This morning, the doors opened for the first church service since that night.
Members of both the First United Methodist and the nearby Walnut Grove Methodist Churches gathered today to pay tribute to a lost friend. Two churches, both served by Reverend Tabb, both touched by this tragedy, gathered together Sunday morning. Extra chairs had to be brought in as hundreds of people packed the sanctuary. Tabb's memorial service featured prayer, scripture, and tears.
Church member John Whitsell said, "It was very important for the two churches to come together, to unite, and to show that we are a strong church and we can survive a terrible act like this."
Most church members declined to talk after the service, preferring to share their grief and feelings with other members. Reverend Tabb did attend the service, and many church members gave him hugs and handshakes afterwards. The message was important, but also just the act of gathering together seemed to help.
Invited Pastor Rev. Patti Fryman said, "I think it will mean a lot to the congregations that they were both gathered together today in love and in worship and in prayer. We shared tears and held hands and loved one another."