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El Salvador minister killed outside church

Christians in El Salvador and across Central America are mourning the death of Antonio Lara. The longtime preacher and church leader was gunned down in the doorway of the church where he served as minister.
Lara, 59, died April 25 during Sunday morning worship service at the El Platanar Church of Christ in San Miguel, El Salvador. Lara left the service momentarily to get a drink of water.
A man wearing a long-sleeved, plaid shirt and a hat apparently was waiting for Lara at the door, according to police.
The man shot Lara at least seven times with a .38-caliber pistol and fled in a vehicle, police said.
Inside the building, church members were praying when they heard the gunshots.
“We all ran out in shock. Others went to find the children who were in Bible school with the preacher’s wife,” an unidentified church member told a Salvadoran news service.
Police did not comment on possible motives for the apparent assassination and, at press time, were searching for the shooter.
The day before his death, Lara had attended a meeting of church members from across the country in the capital of San Salvador, said Carlos Ingles, a Salvadoran Christian who serves as a missionary in Bogota, Colombia.
“Brother Lara was representing the church in El Platanar,” Ingles said. “He ended the meeting with a beautiful prayer.”
Ingles asked church members worldwide to pray for Lara’s wife, Milagro, and their two children.
“For us … and for the brotherhood in general, it has been very shattering news,” Ingles said.
“We know that our brother, through his faithfulness and devotion to the Lord, now enjoys a better place than we do.”
Jon Nelson lived with Lara and his family for nearly two years while serving as a missionary in El Salvador.
“Antonio and his family did more than just invite me into their home. They invited me into their heart and allowed me to become part of their family,” said Nelson, who now lives in the Dallas area.
“Antonio truly had a servant heart,” Nelson said. “In situations where most people complained and grumbled, Antonio smiled and volunteered. He was always working behind the scenes to make sure that the difficult and unpleasant jobs were taken care of.
“What most people don’t know about Antonio is how funny and witty he was. Antonio loved to make people laugh. He was the life of the party. … He was so many things to so many people.”
Memories of El Salvador’s Antonio Lara
Contributions for Lara’s family may be sent to:
High Pointe Church of Christ

c/o Brian Tinsley, evangelism deacon
3201 N Central Expressway
McKinney, TX 75071
(Please note “Lara family fund” on contributions.)

  • Feedback
    This is sadly a step back for our
    Missionaries in Latin America…but we
    are at war with the evil one and some
    families in Christ will have trials to overcome. We still keep the love, peace, and joy in our hearts…and pray for strength for the Lara family. We are deeply sadden hearing of this needless crime to our brother and family in Christ.
    G W Green
    Senath church of Christ
    Senath, Missouri
    May, 13 2010

    Que tragedia que alguna persona tenga el valor de disparar a una persona enfrente de la congregacion. Es una pena que existan ese tipo de personas tan violentas en este mundo que necesitan tanto a Dios. Que el Senor bendiga a la familia Lara. Estaremos orando por ellos.
    David Moreno
    Southside Church of Christ
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    May, 10 2010

    Hermana Milagros, yo y mi familia oraremos por consuelo a su alma de esta tragedia y la ausencia de su esposo. Duele conocer esta noticia entre la hermandad, pero usted cuenta con una familia grande. La Iglesia de Cristo; no dude en solicitarla.
    Arnaldo Rojas
    Tipitapa Centro
    Jinotepe, Carazo
    April, 30 2010

    I feel deeply touched by this tragic incident. If those who wholeheartedly work for God and His people could be mudered in such brutal manner, it therefore behoves us christians to always be prepared. I’m convinced this minister is welcome to a peaceful rest. We’ll keep praying for his lineage.
    Anyanya Bassey
    Campus Church of Christ, Federal University of Technology, Owerr
    Uyo, Akwa Ibom
    April, 29 2010

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. It is painful to know of the preacher’s faith and dedication and this rather unnecessary death. I pray the family will adjust and heal as the Lord gives the strength for dealing with this pain.
    Augustine Tawiah
    Bomso Church of Christ
    Kumasi, Ghana
    April, 28 2010

    What a tragedy for the Lara family & God’s church family.
    Our prayers cry out for God to console & comfort them as only He truly knows how. Evil is bountiful, but God’s goodness is boundless! May from this terrible tragedy bring forth the precious fruit of God’s caring mercy & love!
    Larry Green & Tim Rodriguez Families
    Lake Havasu City Church of Christ
    Lake Havasu City , Arizona
    April, 28 2010

    Please add my voice to the chorus of Christians around the world who morn the passing of our brother Lara. I am confident that the Reunion of diverse people from across oceans and generations will be sweet!
    Larry Henderson
    Highland church of Christ
    Abilene, Texas
    April, 28 2010

    My prayers are with you…May God our holy Father in heaven comfort and strengthen you all in this tribulation and may His will continue to be done at the El Platanar church. In Jesus Christ name. Amen.
    Sister Terri
    Bright Angel church of Christ
    las vegas, NV
    April, 28 2010

    I am saddened to read how someone that does so much good in a community is killed senselessly. Our prayers are with you as we bring you as a family and Church before our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We will continue to bring the Church before our God – and we know God has heard them already.
    Gerhard van Wyk
    C of C – Centurion
    Pretoria, Gauteng
    South Africa
    April, 28 2010

    It sad news to hear and we pray for the wife and the children of Antonio Lara. May God bless them and the church there. May God strengthen the church there. It is an evidence that the church is doing marvelous work in San Miguel. We are praying for your safety. God bless you richly and keep you all safe in His mighty arm.
    Krishna Gopal Khadgee
    Kamal Pokhari church of Christ
    Kathmandu, Nepal
    April, 28 2010

    Our heartfelt condolences to Lara’s family. It is very sad to hear of such acts especially when they happen in the house of worship. All things happen for good to those who love Him. The family and the church are the prayers of the church in Malawi.
    Chester Kabinda
    Red Cross
    Blantyre, Blantyre
    April, 28 2010

    My deepest condolences to the family of Bro. Lara. I didn’t know this brother, but I can certainly offer up prayers to the Throne of Grace on behalf of his family. I to am a minister so i will let my congregation know of this tragedy and we will PRAY! God Bless his family!
    Bro. Kevin Jones
    National City Church of Christ
    San Diego, Ca
    April, 28 2010

    The Lara family: you have my deepest sympathy in the loss of your loved one Bro. Antonio Lara. I will keep you all in my prayers along with the church family. May God continue to bless and keep you in his care.
    Sherry Davis
    Mountainview Church of Christ Dallas, TX
    Arlington, TX
    April, 27 2010

    Mis sentidas condolencias a la familia del hermano. Oramos aqui con los hermanos que Dios les bendiga a ustedes y a los hermanos de alli. solo recuerden … Las puertas del Hades No prevaleceran contra ella. Dios Bendiga a su familia y nuestro hermano este en descanso de su trabajo aqui en la tierra.
    David Dorantes
    Hoover Church of Christ/ Iglesia de Cristo
    Hoover, Alabama
    April, 27 2010

    I was deeply saddened to learn of this news. Prayers to the family of this minister and the congregation for the terror which they have seen. In Christian Love, Judi
    Judi L Doty Tarrant
    effingham church of christ
    effingham, illinois
    April, 27 2010

    I would like to know if there is a way to help the family. They are in our prayers and we would love to find out of an immediate need or be able to consider helping them for a period. Please let us know who to contact.
    God bless. James 1:27
    Carlos Preciado Trevino
    Sixth Street Church of Christ
    Pompano beach, Florida
    April, 27 2010

    It’s my prayer that this senseless act of terror will not accomplish what Satan intended but will instead spur greater faithfulness and service in that area and around the world. Our days on this earth are short, and Satan is real.
    Kim Williams
    Booneville church of Christ
    Booneville, MS
    April, 27 2010

    Mis mas sentidas consolencias a la familia del hermano Lara a su esposa e hijos. A su familia espiritual en El Platanar. Dios les de la fortaleza que necesitan en estos momentos de dolor, y la resignacion de saber que el Hno. es consolado en los brazos del Senor.
    Denia Ferguson
    Marmaduke, Arkansas
    April, 27 2010

    It shocking to hear the death of Br. Lara! the chrches in this side of the earth are praying for his family, May God keep them and bless abundantly! rev 2:10
    church of christ
    Bidar, karnataka
    April, 27 2010

    My heart goes out to the family and the Church as a whole, please know that at the period, we all grieve with you and will continue to pray for you. There is something about this year, I have never heard of so many awful things happening to the Christian before, WE ALL NEED TO STOP AND CHOSE A DAY TO FAST AND PRAY. It feels like our Fathers enemy is releasing all his forces on the Children of God, please lets pick a day, any day and join together in prayers and ask God to please protect us, the burden is getting heavy. My prayers are with all my brothers and sisters in Christ. God’s peace be with this family.
    Pamela Madu
    Church of Christ
    bartlett, TN
    U.S. A
    April, 27 2010

    May God provide arms of love to wrap around the grieving family and church of Brother Lara. I pray that his death will not be in vain but that God will provide a harvest of faith In Jesus. Sister Lara, may God give you strength each day that only He can give as you pour out your anguish to Him.
    Susan Owings
    White Station Church of Christ
    Memphis, TN
    April, 27 2010

    My friend, Antonio Lara, is now reaping the reward he worked for all his life. Antonio was a true servant leader, and his zest for the Lord was so refreshing. I have worshipped with him, Mila, Cindy and Leo at El Platenar. Antonio had a way of including us “Gringos” who were struggling to understand a word or two of the service. All of our Christian family needs to pray special healing and blessings on the church’s children and their families who are certain to be traumatized by this event. Satan has attempted to find a way to target vulnerability – but we know the “rest of the story” -GOD WINS!
    Sharon Stephens
    High Pointe Church of Christ, McKinney
    Bells, Texas
    April, 27 2010

    My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the Lara family and the church in San Miguel. May the God of all comfort bring peace and comfort during this difficult time, and may He bring good things out of this tragedy.
    Garden Ridge Church of Christ
    Beijing, Republic of
    April, 26 2010

    Our hearth felt condolonces go out to the Lara family.
    Our prayers are with the church at that place.
    God will avenge the death of His child.
    Edilfonso Rodriguez
    Norton St. Church of Christ
    Corpus Christi, Texas
    April, 26 2010

    The death of brother Antonio Lara brings to mind just how safe we have it in the USA. My heart truly is sadden and filled with pain as I read of this troubling event. We should always be mindful of our brothers and sisters in Christ who work and worship in places that such an event may take place. Let us remember this family in our prayers, not just now, always.
    Frank R. Williams
    Barnes church of Christ, Okla.City
    Seminole, Oklahoma
    April, 26 2010

    My thought and prayers go out to Bro. Lara’s wife, children and church family … for I am certain a man after God’s own heart has gained eternal life in heaven.
    Sis. Scarlet Vasquez
    N. Westnedge Church of Christ
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Unites States
    April, 26 2010

    On behalf of the congregation, my family, and myself, I would like to express sincere condolences to the wife, children and all the brethren in El Salvador at this painful time.
    May the God of consolation and all comfort bear you in this situation.
    Lewis Romain
    Church of Christ, Portsmouth
    Portsmouth, West Indies
    April, 26 2010

    Sorry to hear this news and know the unfortunate thing that happened to our brother Lara. We share the pain felt by the Church of Christ in San Miguel, El Salvador. Pray for the family of sisters and brothers of the congregation, for the Lord of strength, and move forward in the fight and that this does not lead to more violent situations.
    God bless.
    Atte. Carlos Garcia
    Church of Christ
    Matamoros City, Mx
    Carlos Garcia
    Quinta Campestre
    Matamoros, Tamaulipas
    April, 26 2010

    Very sad to hear of the death of Antonio Lara. Thank you for reporting this news so quickly. We just canceled our trip to Monterrey, Mexico, Sunday morning because of the violence that took place at the Holiday Inn there last week.
    Blessings, Barrett
    Barrett Vanlandingham
    Fort Gibson C of C
    Fort Gibson, OK
    April, 26 2010

    My heart-felt sympathies go out to Brother Lara’s family and to my brothers and sisters of the El Platanar Church of Christ in San Miguel, El Salvador. May God bless you and help you through your grief.
    Darlene Beeler
    Farmington Church of Christ
    Prairie Grove, Arkansas
    April, 26 2010

Filed under: International

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