Kalamazoo shooting victims remembered at Battle Creek prayer service

Posted at 10:45 PM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 22:57:03-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- As West Michigan continues to show support to the victims of the Kalamazoo shooting spree, a prayer service was held in Battle Creek Thursday evening.

Friends and family gathered at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church for a special service to mourn the loss of the six victims killed on Saturday. Four of the them called Battle Creek their home.

Chad Parmalee is a pastor at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.

"I don’t think folks know how to process this, said Parmalee, "I think there’s a lot of bewilderment and questioning."

It was a ripple effect of grief that brought the people of Battle Creek. All of them finding comfort through songs, inspirational readings and fellowship.

"So I beg you to keep the Dalton's in your prayers," the pastor continued.

Even through the pain, Parmalee asked people to forgive the man accused of killing 6 and seriously injuring two others on Saturday.

"You hear about this violence in the news, but it’s personal," said Parmalee. "This is someone we knew and particularly violent way for her to go."

One of the 6 people killed was Mary Jo Nye, who was an employee at the church, as well as a beloved member.

On Thursday, FOX 17 talked to Janet Wilson, Director of Volunteer Ministries, who has fond memories of Mary Jo Nye.

Wilson said Nye was bright, loving and strong. She went on to say how caring and giving she was to others.

Fellow church member, Joan King, spoke of the love Nye had for others.

"She was just so full of love for everybody and would do anything for anybody," said King, "Just a really wonderful person."

Candles were lit for for those who are gone. It was a time to reflect and a time to begin the healing process.

"For us to go in peace, together in community," said Parmalee.

There's a memorial service set for Sunday at 3 p.m. for Mary Jo Nye at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church in Battle Creek.