BIRMINGHAM (TAB, BNG) — A former student minister in Alabama, Pastor James “Tripp” Battle III, who was serving at Bayshore Baptist Church, Bradenton, Fla., was fatally shot Dec. 4 at the church in a triple homicide. Battle previously served for two years as student minister of First Baptist Church, Albertville. Florida police say Battle was shot by Andres “Andy” Avalos Jr. They later found the body of Avalos’ wife, Amber, who ran the church nursery, at home with a third victim, Denise Potter, a neighbor. The suspect is still at large and considered armed and dangerous. A once-declining congregation, Bayshore Baptist had grown from 30 to more than 100 since Battle had been serving as pastor. Al Fernandez, lead strategist for church planting at the Florida Baptist Convention, said Battle was “a church planter at heart” and that “everyone loved Tripp.” –30–
To read the full story, visit www.thealabamabaptist.org.