As an invited speaker for the Women of God Through Promise Conference, Alisha Woodard delivered a strong message to the faithful gathered inside the True Cornerstone Church in Mobile, Alabama.
Drawing her lesson from 2 Kings in the Bible, Woodard “was just encouraging us all that even when things like death is all around, even when it seems like the blessing does not look like it’s gonna be there, just keep on pressing toward it,” Pastor Derek Scott Gandy told the Christian Post.
When the February 21 service concluded, Gandy says his friend, Woodard’s estranged husband Ulysses Woodard, approached him.
“He just said, ‘Pastor, can I talk to my wife please?’ And I said, ‘Sure, that’s your wife,'” said Gandy. “And he never said anything to anyone. He did not stress anyone. He did not disrespect anyone. He never raised his voice at all.”
But as Gandy watched, the conversation between the Woodards grew heated. Ulysses grabbed the arm of his wife, who “started screaming, hollering ‘let go, stop,'” said Gandy. “He managed to keep her in his grasp and he managed to get to his car, and that’s where he had his weapon.”
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Mobile police say they responded at 11:23 p.m. to find “a female victim on the ground suffering from an apparent gunshot wound,” according to a news release. With police in pursuit, the suspected shooter fled, only to return to the location.
As officers approached the suspect’s vehicle, the suspect fired one “self-inflicted” shot, police said. Officers returned fire and struck the vehicle’s rear bumper.
“The suspect then pointed the firearm back towards himself and pulled the trigger which ultimately caused his demise,” according to the police statement. “His vehicle then crashed into a church in the area.”
“The car went right into the door,” Gandy told Mobile TV station WPMI. “All of that was destroyed, and it was just rubber burning. I thought the church was on fire.”
Alisha Woodward, who with her husband led the True Word of Deliverance Church of God in Prichard, Alabama, was taken by ambulance to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, police said.
“She still needs a lot of prayer. She is in pain, but her faith is still strong,” Gandy’s wife, Kula, told WPMI.
Gandy said the Woodards’ estrangement “was very fresh,” reports the Christian Post.
Ulysses, an elder in the Woodards’ church, had “vented” to his friend about the couple’s struggles but Gandy observed “nothing that would lead to this,” he said.
“I didn’t see this coming. … I didn’t see this coming,” he said. “He wasn’t a monster, at least not that I’ve ever seen.”