GLEN ARM, Md.–Marie Monville will be the guest speaker at Long Green Baptist Church’s annual women’s conference from 10 am to 2 pm on September 27. Monville was married to Charles Roberts, the milk driver who shot and killed five girls ages 6 to 13 and injured 5 more at an Amish school in Lancaster in 2006.
The morning of the shooting, Charlie Roberts walked to the school bus with Marie and their children, kissed their children goodbye and told them he loved them. He left a suicide note, referring to the death of the couple’s premature daughter who had died after living just 20 minutes. He then went to the Amish schoolhouse and shot several children before committing suicide.
Monville has written a book called, “One Light Still Shines: My Life Beyond the Shadow of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting.”
“This book really struck a chord of healing in my soul,” Long Green Baptist Church’s Women’s Ministry Coordinator Kathy Ramsdell said.
After a church member gave the book to Ramsdell she procrastinated opening it, due to the nature of the incident, but eventually, while on vacation, she began to read.
“I took it out on the beach each day and cried,” Ramsdell said.
But rather than a book of depression and sadness, Ramsdell said it is one of hope and redemption.
The book follows the story after the shooting. Monville grew up in the church and was a follower of Jesus. She had just returned from leading a mother’s group at her church when she learned the news.
Ramsdell said Monville shares about the incident, but the story she tells is how God moved in the midst of the tragedy. “It’s about the future,” Ramsdell said.
Monville, in her prologue, writes that she avoided the press and how it was difficult to be “the shooter’s wife.” But in time, the questions people began to ask were, “How, after Charlie’s heinous acts, had I been able to trust my heart to a man again, enough to actually remarry? Where had I found the strength to blend my family with another? How had the faith survived such a horrific ordeal? How had the tragedy changed me?
“For the first time I understood that the hunger of those interested in hearing my story was not really about me at all—it was about their experience of loss or pain or struggle or mystery in the lives of my listeners. Their lives were also filled with sudden storms and dark places. What they were searching for within my story was the secret to navigating through their own darkness. They were hungry for a story of hope.”
Tickets are $10 and include one free ticket for a friend in an effort to encourage outreach ministry.
Seating is limited and a box lunch will be served. There will be no childcare. Registration is required before Sept. 14. For more information, or to register, visit the church website.
Long Green Baptist Church is located at 13010 Manor Rd, Glen Arm, Md.