Greer was in and out of the hospital again in early December, Lisa Greer wrote, and then she came down with the flu, a sinus infection and walking pneumonia. Home from college, Suzanna took over grocery shopping and planning meals, her mother said on Facebook.
Amid the family’s troubles, police arrested a contemporary worship leader at Gardendale-Mt. Vernon Methodist on charges of using a computer to solicit a minor for sex and traveling for the purpose of engaging in sexual relations. Gardendale police Chief Mike Walker said there was no apparent link between the shooting and the charges against Joel Kent Hodges, 31, who was hired during Greer’s tenure.
The day after the arrest papers were filed in court, Lisa Greer wrote a friend: ‘‘I hope 2013 is better for the Greers!’’
Less than two weeks later, police said, Greer opened fire on his wife and daughter in their home, a four-bedroom brick house owned by the church and valued at nearly $255,000.
Lisa Greer was fatally injured, but Suzanna managed to get the gun and run to a neighbor’s home, police said.
Police said Greer then grabbed a kitchen knife and went into a bathroom, where an officer who busted into the home with a golf club found him. Greer had repeatedly stabbed himself in the chest and neck, police said, and he tried to grab the officer’s gun before being subdued.
Greer was taken to a hospital. He developed pneumonia and was placed on a ventilator, but police say he’s expected to recover and will be taken to jail when he’s well enough.
The United Methodist Church has suspended Greer from ministerial duties and appointed an interim pastor at his old church.
Officials said the denomination is waiting to find out more about Greer’s health before deciding what more to do about his status as a minister. He could surrender his credentials or have them removed after a formal denominational process, a church attorney said.
Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett said the congregation will receive special attention from denomination leaders for ‘‘the next year or so.’’
‘‘All of us feel sad — very, very sad,’’ Wallace-Padgett told church members during a sermon the Sunday after Lisa Greer’s death.