- (Photo: http://www.pastordave.info)
A Pakistani man has been charged with the murder of the Rev. David Ginter, the U.S. pastor who served in Malaysia and was found dead in his home in Kuala Lumpur last month.
Bernama News Agency reported that Ginter, who was the senior pastor of the 200-member Bridge International Church, was found slain with his hands and feet bound on May 4. While as many as seven men were initially arrested in connection to his death, the Ampang Magistrate's Court in Malaysia on Thursday charged a 25-year old Pakistani security guard with the murder.
The man, identified only by the name "Shahbaz," could face the death penalty if convicted of the crime. His next court date is scheduled for July 18, but another four people connected to the crime are believed to be at large.
AFP reported that police have cited robbery as a possible motive, as the pastor's car was missing from the house when he was discovered.
Shahbaz was also found to have overstayed in the country for 49 days after his passport had expired, and was given a separate three months' sentence.
Malaysia, where 60 percent of the population is Muslim and nine percent is Christian, has experienced a surge in violent crime in recent years, AFP noted.
Ginter, who previously served as the youth pastor for Smith Memorial Presbyterian Church in Fairview, Ore., spent over 40 years ministering around the world in countries throughout Asia and the Middle East, as well as the U.S. He is survived by his wife, Sheryl, their three sons who live in the U.S., and two adopted Filipino teenage brothers.
A memorial website started for Ginter shares many photos and memories of the Bridge International Church pastor.
"The gentlest kindest most fatherly man I've yet to meet! Though I've not known him for long he had impacted me with the way his heart encompassed everybody within his stride. Nothing was too small & he'd lose no time in seeing to it. What a legacy you've left behind Ps Dave! Right now I can picture Him saying to him 'Well done good & faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord,'" one commenter said.
"Pastor Dave, You were a wonderful person, a fantastic human being and a fine example of Christ to follow. You will never be forgotten. Heaven is rejoicing," added another.