Church Members Curious about Pastor Murder Trial

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STROUDSBURG -- There were some new faces in the courtroom wanting to hear all the testimony in the murder trial of a pastor accused of killing his wife in 2008.

Some of the new faces in the courtroom were current members of the United Methodist Church in Reeders.

One of them explained they're curious to hear more about the accusations against their former beloved pastor, Arthur Schirmer.

"It's hard believing he could do something like this, if he did do it," said the church member.

The woman is a current member of the United Methodist Church, the church former pastor Schirmer used to lead.

She and a few other church members are filling the courtroom listening closely to testimony in the murder trial of their former pastor.

"It's hard, it's hard.  Like, this is a man of God, and he was phenomenal at his job. He was so good," said the church member.

Prosecutors believe Schirmer beat his wife Betty in July 2008 then staged a car crash on Route 715 near Tannersville to make it look like Betty was injured in that wreck.

Betty died the next day at a hospital.

But the accusations are hard for a church goer to understand because the pastor Schirmer she knew could never be responsible for such a thing.

"His sermons were based around life. He was not your typical bible preacher. He really dealt with everyday issues and life.  His sermons were good," said the church goer.

Former Pastor Schirmer performed the marriage ceremony for the woman and her husband and baptized her two-year old daughter.

She was also at the church after Betty Schirmer died and says pastor Schirmer was devastated.

"He cried the whole church service. He cried the whole church service after he came back. He stood up there and he cried and he had everyone crying. It was just God's plan," said the church member.

The woman also heard about an affair between the former pastor and his secretary.

In court, prosecutors pulled up several e-mails between the two to prove the affair, which the woman says, many speculated about.

"Things that shouldn't be going on in the church," said the church member.

The United Methodist Church in Reeders is moving forward.

However, some church members still have questions about what really happened that July when their pastor's wife died.

"I would like to believe he didn't do it," said the church member.