Joe Rushing, long-time minister at Main Street church of Christ in Springfield, said he was sickened when he heard the news of the shooting that killed one and injured six other church members with gunfire following the Sunday, Sept. 25 morning service at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ on Pin Hook Road in Nashville.
"I've known Joey and Peggy for about 40 years now," Rushing said.
Joe Spann, 60, the minister of the church and his wife Peggy Spann, 65, were both injured in Sunday's shooting, but neither sustained life-threatening injuries, according to Metro Nashville Police.
"Joey has a collapsed lung and Peggy was injured in the knee," Rushing said. "Joey is just full of enthusiasm. He's a spell-binding speaker."
Spann has preached at the Main Street church on several occasions, according to Rushing.
"He's just a wonderful guy," Rushing said. "He spoke once at one of our men's dinners and told about a heart attack he had experienced while coaching. He would emphasize how swiftly life can change."
Rushing said Spann has taught Bible classes at Ezell-Harding Christian School in Antioch and also at Goodpasture Christian School in Madison. He also served as the girls basketball coach at both schools.
"Joey is such an optimistic person," Rushing said. "He is made in the image of God, always trying to help everybody. Peggy is a good wife and mother of their children."
Rushing said it's been about 40 years since he himself tried out for the preaching position at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch.
He did not get the job, but kept preaching, eventually landing the position in Springfield in 1991.