Lynne Thompson knew that God was with her. She scribbled Scriptures to herself, recommended books to friends and offered encouraging words to other church members.
On Sunday, Thompson’s family and friends, still reeling from her shooting death four days earlier, came together to remind themselves that God is with her.
“You are with the angels today in a place safer than we know,” said childhood friend Julie Akin Sher.
Hundreds of people filled the sanctuary at Spring Valley Presbyterian Church, where Thompson attended, for one of a number of memorial services in her honor.
Clutching each other, and rubbing each other’s backs, they listened to friends share memories about Thompson, 55, and some of her favorite Scriptures.
Her nephew John Fredrickson, a violinist, played “The Lark Ascending,” a song that touched on Thompson’s love for classical music and summed up her spirit of late.
“God has never left her side. Lynn understood that,” said Rob Blumer, interim pastor.
“(She was) frail and delicate but with the confidence that she would persist and that God would watch her.”
Thompson was in the process of finalizing her divorce from a former pastor of the church before she was gunned down at a Forest Acres ATM Wednesday morning.
Kendrick Nesbitt, 37, was arrested Thursday night and charged with Thompson’s fatal shooting. Law enforcement officials said the robbery appeared to be random. Nesbitt has a criminal record dating back to 1990 and has served about 12 years in prison on previous robbery convictions.
Thompson had initially been shaken by her marital problems, friends said, but lately her spirits had begun to lift.
Page Sundby, a friend, spoke of Thompson’s love for the church, her friends and her 19-year-old son, Jesse.
Thompson’s parents, who are 97 and 92 years old and reside in St. Louis, were unable to travel to Columbia for the service.
A service will be held at a later date at Ferguson Presbyterian Church in Ferguson, Mo.
At times during the service friends spoke to the audience and sometimes to themselves.
Sher spoke directly to Thompson as if her childhood friend were in the sanctuary.
“Gabriel is blowing his horn today. The Lord has called you home.”
Reach Copeland at (803) 771-8485.