Local News

Minister said wife's death in Lake Gaston home invasion was God's plan

Posted May 22, 2018 6:00 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:13 a.m. EDT

— Pastor John Alford survived a brutal series of events when his home was broken into and set on fire earlier this year, but he is now sharing the horrific details of what happened on the March day where his wife was killed.

Authorities said Nancy Alford was forced to drive to a State Employee’s Credit Union and cash a check after two men broke into their home in March. The intruders then beat up John Alford and set the home on fire.

John Alford hasn’t preached since the attack in March and spent weeks in the hospital, healing from the beating and burns. On Sunday, he was invited to the pulpit at Calvary Baptist Church in Roanoke Rapids, where he turned tragedy into sermon about the power of love and faith.

The day before the home invasion, robbery and deadly arson, John Alford recalled a tranquil day of shopping and drinking coffee with his wife of 57 years.

“We had a magnificent day on Thursday. We came home and went to bed that night, never realizing that it was the last day she and I would spend together on this Earth,” he said.

John Alford recounted to the Calvary Baptist congregation about the next day, as he lay beaten and tied up in his bed, his life threatened if he moved.

“God’s voice spoke to me just as plain, just as simple as I’m speaking to you right now. Do you know what God said for me to do? Get untied,” John Alford said.

After quietly working to get free, Alford heard his wife’s calls for help. Then, he said five seconds was the difference between his life or death.

“Five seconds, when I got out of bed, when I turned in the middle of my bed, I was greeted by a solid wall of flame,” he said.

John Alford made it out of the house badly burned, but alive to preach again. Nancy Alford did not survive in a tragedy her husband believes was God’s plan.

“Her devotion that day was to me. God chose to take her home. I believe with all my heart that she is right there with Jesus today and he probably said ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant,’” John Alford said.

John Alford said it’s truly a miracle that he’s recovered from the burns as well as he has.

Kevin Munn and Lester Kearney are charged in the robbery, arson and killing. Munn is already serving life in prison after pleading guilty.