Slain Marine remembered at First Baptist Woodstock

by Joni B. Hannigan, Editorial Staff |
Vietnam veteran Charlie Hobbs raises his fist during the song "God Bless America" during an interfaith vigil for the victims of the Tennessee shooting, at Olivet Baptist church in Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 17, 2015. The suspect in the fatal shootings of four U.S. Marines travelled to Jordan and possibly other Middle Eastern countries last year, authorities said on Friday, as the investigation focused on any signs of a connection to Islamist militants. Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized U.S. citizen, died on Thursday in a firefight with police after a rampage at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee. | REUTERS/Tami Chappell

WOODSTOCK, Ga. (Christian Examiner) -- First Baptist Church displayed a Marine Corps flag high on its platform Sunday in honor of one of its own slayed by an Islamic radical last week in Chattanooga, Tenneessee.

Johnny Hunt, senior pastor and a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention, explained on Instagram why the flag was amidst the orchestra.

"The Marine flag @fbcwoodstock is in honour of one of the fallen marines, Skip Wells who played in our orchestra. He and his Mother Cathy were saved @fbcwoodstock. God bless them!" Hunt said.

Lance Cpl. Squire "Skip' Wells, 21, was gunned down with three other Marines and a sailor by 24-year-old Mohammad Youssef Abdullazeez, at a military facility before he was killed by police.

Wells' mom told Fox News she was watching coverage of the shooting when Marines came to her door.

"My son died doing what he loved for the love of his country and his family," Cathy Wells told Fox News.

The Marine's girlfriend, Caroline Dove, told Fox she was confused by a message Skip Wells texted to her Thursday. The young Marine had just begun a two-week assignment in Chattanooga.

"Active Shooter," is all it said.

"You are so weird," she replied back.

Three hours later, after hearing nothing, she told him, "I love you."

It was Friday when she finally learned he had died.

Wells and Dove met at Georgia Southern University before Wells enlisted in the Marine Corps. He had planned to ask for her hand in marriage.

The three other Marines killed were identified Friday as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, from Hampden, Mass., Sgt. Carson Holmquist, of Polk, Wisc., and Staff Sgt. David Wyatt, of Burke, N.C. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Smith, the sailor who was injured in the attack, died Saturday as a result of his injuries.

Sullivan served in India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines and fought in the 2005 Battle of Abu Ghraib, where he earned a Combat Action medal and Purple Heart.