Church member speaks out about former pastor accused of murder plot

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Reporter - Jason Hibbs
Photojournalist - David Dycus

UNION CITY, Tenn. - Police say former pastor Eddie Mallonee and one of his members, Shelley Moran, plotted to poison Mallonee's wife while she was in Honduras.

Church leaders at Second Baptist Church in Union City, Tennessee released this statement:  "Second Baptist Church is broken hearted and grieved over this situation. We will seek God's will and direction on how to love and minister to all of those affected. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we will continue to serve God in our community through ministry and missions for his glory."

Local 6 reached out to the man who's now filling Mallonee's shoes at the Second Baptist, the interim pastor.

He wouldn't take our phone call or speak to us on camera.

On Wednesday, an anonymous church leader told Local 6's Jason Hibbs that all the church leaders met and decided last night not to talk to any members of the media.  However, one church member is speaking out.

If you look closely, you can still see the impression of Eddie Mallonee's name on the outdoor sign.

Church member David Parks said like the sign, the hurt, anger, and shock won't fade any time soon.

"It's a process, you just don't wake up one morning and everything's forgiven," Parks said.

While Mallonee and fellow church member Shelley Moran are innocent until proven guilty, Parks said Mallonee told the church one Sunday night back in February that he was sinning.  Two days later, he resigned.

At the time, Parks thought the pastor was only having an affair, and never imagined he might be plotting a murder.

"It was just hard to deal with at the time.  These latest allegations are about too much to comprehend. Someone you put so much trust in and look up to, let's face it, it's a form of betrayal when they don't live up to what you expect and thought they were," Parks said.

Parks said he's confident his church can and will move on, but right now he's more worried about Mallonee's wife, Cathy.

"I can't imagine what she personally, is going through. It's troubling to think about," Parks said.

We visited the Mallonee household, but no one answered the door.

Parks said he'll likely never talk to his former pastor again, but finds comfort in his brothers and sister in Christ, and in time, will learn to forgive the man everyone at the church loved.

"As bad as we hate all this, we're confident the church will thrive and come through just fine," Parks said.

Moran turned herself in to the Obion County Jail Tuesday and was released on a $10,000 bond.

Mallonee has until Friday at noon to turn himself in. Mallonee and Moran will appear before the Obion County Circuit Court on Monday at 9 a.m.

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