In-depth coverage of the shootings in Kaufman County

Family Pastor Remembers McLellands

Pastor says couple were pillars of First United Methodist Church in Terrell

By Catherine Ross
|  Monday, Apr 1, 2013  |  Updated 7:55 PM CDT
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People who knew Mike and Cynthia McLelland say the two were not only great citizens in Kaufman County but strong leaders in their faith.

Catherine Ross, NBC 5 News

People who knew Mike and Cynthia McLelland say the two were not only great citizens in Kaufman County but strong leaders in their faith.

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A Terrell church is mourning the death of the Kaufman County district attorney and his wife, who were found slain in their home this weekend.

First United Methodist Church pastor Keith L. Head said he considered longtime church members Mike and Cynthia McLelland pillars of the church.

Head described Mike McLelland as a man with a strong presence and a big laugh and said Cynthia McLelland loved entertaining and had offered the couple's Forney home for church functions.

Head said he will most miss the love and joy the McLellands shared.

"To see them together, they were always happy together, and you knew they loved each other," he said.

A week before their deaths, he had shared a special moment with Cynthia McLelland at church when she walked up and demanded a hug, Head said.

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"It's just that you don't realize when you have a hug with somebody that you care about, that it might be the last time," he said.

Mike McLelland was a Sunday school teacher. Head said it made Easter Sunday services feel more like Good Friday to a congregation dealing with a deep sense of loss.

"Everyone was in shock, and we cried on each other's shoulders and hugged each other, and we said we're here for each other," he said.

A public memorial service for the McLellands will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church of Sunnyvale in Mesquite.

The couple will be buried in Mike McLelland's hometown of Wortham. Visitation will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church in Wortham.

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