A ‘precious man.’ Friends remember residents of Ky. homeless shelter who died in shooting.

Two residents of a Henderson homeless shelter who were killed when a fellow resident allegedly opened fire after a church service Thursday night are being remembered by friends and family for their faith and their good-natured ways.

Henderson police said Chad Holmes, 44, and Steven Wathen, 67, died after Kenneth Gibbs began shooting at Harbor House Christian Center on Clay Street.

Coni Beck, who said she’s been a pastor at the center for about a year, said Wathen “loved the Lord” and “loved to talk about his family.” She said he carried a photo of his parents in his Bible.

Wathen been living at the center for more than a year, but before that, Beck said “he’d been sleeping on park benches about two years.”

She said that at one point, Wathen considered moving out of Harbor House with another resident, but he ultimately decided to stay because he and the folks at Harbor House were so fond of each other.

Wathen was “just a precious, precious man,” Beck said. “He was very quiet. He just had this smile that was sweet.”

Wathen “was an avid sports fan and especially enjoyed rooting for the St. Louis Cardinals and the University of Kentucky Wildcats,” according to an online obituary, which listed the spelling of his first name as “Stephen.”

“Steve was a GPS genius before GPS was even available with his keen sense of direction mapping out travels across the country,” the obituary stated. “He also enjoyed rock and roll music and fishing trips with family. He was known at the Harbor House as ‘the quiet humble gentleman.’”

Harbor House Christian Center shared a photo of Wathen on Facebook in March commending him as “a wonderful man and gentle spirit.”

“God has transformed his life and has brought so much joy to mine by bringing us together,” the post stated.

Wathen’s obituary says he was originally from Evansville and held an accounting degree from Lockyear Business College.

He’s survived by a son and daughter, the obituary states. A funeral service is scheduled for Tuesday at Ziemer Funeral Home in Evansville.

Holmes, Beck said, had only been at the center for a few months, and “we were just really getting to know him,” but already “all of the men really loved him.”

“He liked to cut up,” she said, and had “a good sense of humor. ...Just a good man.”

Ryan R.J. Jeffers wrote on Facebook that he had just talked to Holmes earlier Thursday, and “he was excited about getting a new car tomorrow.”

Jeffers said in a later post that Holmes “was very vocal about his past struggles with addiction and a negative lifestyle. He was just baptized 11 weeks ago and very thrilled and excited to be back walking with God as he went astray for some time. He was thinking about becoming a preacher because he had a big heart for others and said he kept feeling like God was calling him and he wanted to give back.”

Justin Moore reminisced on Facebook about how Holmes had always given him a big bear hug every time he saw him.

Moore shared a photo of Holmes at his baptism, writing, “I remember how excited he was to get baptized and to start his life over with a new beginning and a fresh start.”

Less than two weeks ago, Holmes posted on his Facebook page, celebrating three years and seven months of sobriety.

“I’m so thankful for God in my life he is so awesome he brought me out of addiction,” Holmes wrote. “I celebrated 3 years and 7 months sober yesterday and been born again I will forever serve him all my life.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Holmes’ family with funeral expenses.

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