The Rev. Danny Kirk Sr., 53, the 18-year pastor of Greater Sweethome Missionary Baptist Church in Forest Hill, a suburb of Fort Worth, was killed by a man who drove his car through a wall of the church Monday, then beat Kirk to death in the church music room, using an electric guitar as a weapon, police Chief Dan Dennis said.
A janitor was injured attempting to stop the confrontation, and a church secretary telephoned the police, KXAS-TV, Dallas, reported Tuesday.
When police arrived, Kirk was still being beaten. They applied a stun gun to the suspect, who was later found dead in the back seat of a patrol car, they said.
The suspect was identified as Derrick Birdow, 33, WFAA-TV, Dallas, reported.
Initial investigation revealed Kirk was confronted by the attacker outside the church, and the argument moved inside to the music room, the guitar used as a "weapon of opportunity," Dennis said.
After news of the incident spread through the church membership, hundreds of grief-stricken congregants arrived at the church, and several were treated by paramedics, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Tuesday.
Motive for the attack was unclear.