Beginning to Heal

Mickey Fitzgerald, Charles Miller, Lynette McCall, Sam Cockrell and Thomas Willis were all remembered Thursday through songs, prayers and words of encouragement at a community-wide memorial service at First Baptist Church of Meridian.

"Through our faith we know chaos does not win eternally, neither here nor anywhere else," said Dain Hancock of Lockheed Martin.

The platform was lined with speakers. About halfway through the service, as Meridian mayor John Robert Smith was speaking, someone in the audience stood and interrupted him.

"The way you're putting it to me he was a cruel man and he is not," said Shirley Price, the girlfriend of gunman Doug Williams. "He was a man pushed to the point of where he broke. He was kind and a loving human being and he was a victim, too. And that's what need to be portrayed. He was a victim."

Following the interruption, Price voluntarily left the service and was shielded from the media and escorted to her car by a Meridian firefighter and a city official. Later, Mayor Smith was asked to comment.

"Well, of course the Williams family has been in our prayers and thoughts. They did not want to be a part of this. We have to be able to call the acts themselves, the violent and hateful acts, that they were. The young woman who spoke out is hurting," said Smith.

The guest speaker, the Rev. Bill Harper of Savannah Grove Baptist Church in Meridian, told the audience, "Isn't it good that we know all things, even the bad things, work together for good to those that love God! This joy that I have. I will not loose it! Say it...'I will not lose it! I will not lose it!'"

Services for Mickey Fitzgerald will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday at Hopewell Baptist Church in Little Rock, Miss.

Services for Sam Cockrell will be noon Monday at Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church.

Services for Lynette McCall will be Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at West End School in York, Ala.

Services for Thomas Willis will be 1:00 p.m. Saturday at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Yantley, Ala.

Services for Rev. C.J. Miller will be Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at Northpark Church in Meridian.