For just over a year, newlywed assistant pastor at RIM City Church in Connecticut, LaRhonda Jones and her husband Eric, an elder, had been telling the world how grateful they were for each other on social media.
Those who knew the pastor, 48, however are now reeling in shock after she was found shot dead in bed along with her 54-year-old husband Thursday.
“The church is devastated, devastated,” Denarian Gordon, Sr., the senior pastor RIM City Church in New Haven, who performed the couple’s marriage ceremony a year ago, told WTNH. “We’re all in a state of shock, disbelief.”
A statement from the Waterbury Police Department said the pastor and her elder husband, who is also a retired police officer, were found Thursday after LaRhonda didn’t show up for work.
LaShonda’s employer as well as her sister called police to do a welfare check and she was found with her husband in the bedroom of their condo in Waterbury dead from apparent gunshot wounds.
“The police located a deceased adult male and a deceased adult female lying on a bed in a bedroom,” the statement to The Christian Post said. A handgun was also found in the room.
Waterbury police confirmed with The Christian Post Monday that the case was still being investigated but have not yet provided any additional details concerning the death of the couple.
LaRhonda’s friend Jennifer Whiten told WSFB the late assistant pastor was a domestic violence survivor who committed and devoted her life to God and serving others.
“She had a huge presence. Her spirit was just a welcoming spirit, everybody gravitated towards her. Everybody just loved her. It’s just a shock,” Whiten said.
It was also perhaps a shock to many of LaRhonda’s friends because of the many messages she posted about her God-blessed relationship before and after her marriage to Eric on March 10, 2018, whom she called “one of God’s sons” and “saved for real.”
“Saturday, March 10, 2018, I married one of God’s sons. He loves me in-spite of me. He is saved for real, he loves God, patient, kind, funny, straightforward, and handsome. I am proud to be his wife and call him my husband. #wearethejones’s” she wrote on Facebook shortly after their wedding.
Less than two months later, she praised her husband in a May 4, 2018, message on Facebook for being the “perfect example of a man and husband,” working hard to support her ministry and “putting up with me” in a relationship she hinted was going through “frustrations and obstacles.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair