I, like many, was shocked to hear that minister Matt Winkler had been murdered. His father and grandfather have preached with great influence among churches of Christ for many decades. The entire Winkler family, to include the widow and alleged murderer, needs our prayers at this time of crisis and pain. Rumors and speculation are rampant. I can only imagine the agony that family members feel as they mourn while having to endure public speculation. A Baptist preacher, appearing on talk show "Nancy Grace," used the appearance as an opportunity to bash churches of Christ as an exclusivist cult. However, he rankled Nancy with his approval of a "traditional" role for women. Why did Nancy Grace choose him as an "expert" on the Church of Christ? Surely a professor from Pepperdine University or one of the more than twenty other colleges associated with the church could have done as well. National media have also labeled Winkler's (and my) alma mater, Freed-Hardeman University, as a Bible College. FHU does have a large Biblical Studies department, but also offers degrees in education, business, physical education, music, science, and many other fields. It actually began as a school for teachers, public school teachers. Freed-Hardeman (www.fhu.edu) is a regionally accredited liberal arts university which offers masters' degrees in education and religion, and which has recently added a nursing program.
May the Lord bless and protect the Winkler family and the local church where Matt preached.