Update Friday, Nov. 6, 2013, 10:41 a.m. : The Christian Post has learned that Pastor Ed Montgomery's funeral service will not be held at Full Gospel Christian Assemblies International church in Hazel Crest, Ill. He is expected to be buried on Monday.
An Illinois pastor who was grieving the death of his wife, whom he buried last December, reportedly shot himself inside his Matteson home in front of his pleading son on Saturday, after lamenting that he was hearing her voice and footsteps. He later died from the gunshot wound.
The pastor, Ed Montgomery, and his previously deceased wife, Prophetess Jackie Montgomery, had both served at the Full Gospel Christian Assemblies International church in Hazel Crest, Ill. They are still listed on the church's website as marriage counselors responsible for several other ministries.
A senior official with the Village of Matteson Police Department, who said he would not go on record out of respect for the family, confirmed with The Christian Post on Thursday that pastor Ed Montgomery died in what "appears to have been a suicide" on Saturday. It could not be officially concluded, however, until after lab tests are complete.
Sandy Davis, a telecommunications supervisor at MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island, Ill., where Jackie Montgomery worked as the human resources director before she died of a brain aneurysm last year, told CP the couple's daughter called her on Saturday and confirmed the suicide.
"She just explained to me that he had shot himself. He was pretty much saying he heard his wife's voice and footsteps and things like that, and he just was having a hard time. So he ended up shooting himself," said Davis, who explained she was Jackie Montgomery's childhood friend, as well as a close friend of the Montgomery family.
"His mom had stopped over and his son was there asking dad 'not to do it, not to do it,'" she added.
She explained that she wasn't sure if pastor Montgomery was depressed, but she understood that he had been having the issue with his wife's voice and footsteps for about two weeks leading up to his death.
"It's just heartbreaking, you feel for the family. The Ed that I know, he would have never wanted to leave his family, but I guess just the depression, I can't speak on, but it's just something. The way he loved his family I guess his heart was so broken that he loved Jackie more, so I don't know. It's just hard to grasp. I don't know what to make of it," said Davis.
Davis, who described herself as a Christian, said although she was not a member of the church where the couple served as pastors, she had attended services with them on occasion at Jackie's request. She described Ed Montgomery as "just very nice, compassionate and caring."
Staff at the MetroSouth Medical Center who were familiar with the couple are also in shock.
"It's just pretty much 'Oh my God, I can't believe it, oh my God' they just don't want to believe it," said Davis. "It doesn't seem real."
CP contacted The Full Gospel Christian Assembly for comment on the pastor's death but second assistant pastor, Prophet Dave White, said it was best to have the church's lead pastor, Apostle Ron Wilson, address the death. A message left for Wilson was not returned at the time of publication. Montgomery is expected to be buried on Monday, Dec. 9.
An announcement expressing condolences to Ed Montgomery at the passing of his wife in the Park Forest Business News last year revealed that Ed Montgomery had opened a business, Chateau Sylora Banquet Hall, with his wife in May of 2011, just a year and a half before her death.
It described the couple as strong supporters of their church.
"Ed & Jackie were very involved in their church as pastors as well as many other projects. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to all," the announcement had noted in part.
Davis said Ed Montgomery had lost interest in the business after his wife died. She said she spoke with the family on Wednesday and "everyone's just taking it really hard. That's a lot to deal with, especially with the anniversary of Jackie's death coming up."
"They just keep saying to pray for them, pray for them. They are having a hard time," said Davis.
An Amazon author profile of Ed Montgomery's wife notes that the couple have "two children, Trent and Mikia, and three God-children, five brothers, eight sisters and many sons and daughters in the Spirit."
READ WHAT LEAD PASTOR OF FULL GOSPEL CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLIES CHURCH TOLD CP:
Here is a related video about his church: