Church Members Distraught over Pastor's Death

Police confirmed the identity other body late Sunday night, but many church members told WSFA they knew it was pastor Gary Aldridge as soon as they heard the news.

When he didn't call his wife, churchgoers were worried. When Sunday rolled around without any signs of the senior pastor, things became much worse.

"When he drops off the map, with no phone calls or anything, pretty much, you know something had happened," church member Vince Lindsey said.

Church members were at the scene throughout the day, scrambling for answers to this mysterious death.

"We hadn't heard anything, so we pulled up to see what was going on, and that's when they told us what had happened," Lindsey said.

Nobody could figure out how the 15 year veteran of Thorington Road Baptist Church wound up dead.  Aldridge had been active within the church and the community, and the death of such a positive figure had much of the congregation puzzled.

"Everybody that knows him loves him.  He's a great guy.  Very Energetic," church member Bubba Skipworth explained.

The church then sprung into action, chartering a jet to escort Jan Aldridge, Gary's wife, from a North Carolina. Now, they're helping out in any way they can.

"We had prayer at the church, and everybody was just trying to--for the family--figure out and see what's going to happen from this point on and try to get through the process," Lindsey said.

So after the worst news possible hits home, a community waits for answers.

The church's website has been taken down at this point, but one single message remains: "Our church grieves. Thorington Road Baptist Church has experienced an enormous tragedy."

Stay tuned to WSFA for updates as they become available.

Reported by: Cody Holyoke