Chambers said he believed someone had called White at home, and he came to the church with the gun.
“I believe someone called him and got him upset,” he said.
Albert Gibson Sr., White’s father, told WAPT-TV that White had come to the church to protect him.
Disputes among church members over firing a minister or other matters are not uncommon, but authorities said they were surprised that White would bring a gun.
“Our churches are usually pretty peaceful,” Roby said. “We don’t have a lot of calls like that.”
Holmes County Coroner Dexter Howard said the body was being taken to Jackson for an autopsy Monday. MBI and the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office are investigating. Roby said the Lexington officer, whom he declined to name, has been placed on administrative leave.
Lexington is about 55 miles north of Jackson. Asia Missionary Baptist Church, though not particularly large, is historic. The African-American congregation formed in the 1870s and meets in a tan brick building completed in 1908.