CHICKASHA, Okla. – Flowers rest on the steps of First Missionary Baptist Church in memory of a pastor found dead on Friday. His body was burned and found near the church.
Those who attend the church say Pastor Michael Walworth changed their lives, and he was especially passionate about reaching out to people in trouble.
“He didn’t shy away from helping people,” said Jay Henderson. “I mean, anybody that came to his door, he was there to help them.”
As a registered sex offender, Walworth himself had a troubled past. But those at his church say he turned his life around to help others fight their demons.
“It didn’t matter your past history or what you have done,” said Montyica Stephens. “What was important to him was today and moving forward and what he could do to help you become a better person.”
Walworth’s home was being cleaned out by loved ones on Saturday.
“Mementos, you know. The first Bible he received. Lots of study guides on New Testament, Old Testament,” said Dustin Gary, Walworth’s cousin.
Even though Walworth’s life ended in tragedy, those close to him say it’s what he stood for that will live on.
“If he was your friend, he was your friend unconditionally,” said Stephens. “He spent time with us, with people that other people would say that they were your friends but in certain crowds, they didn’t want to talk to you.”