Vasalia community mourns death of Mormon bishop

by | Aug. 31, 2010

Everything Else

One day after a shooting at an LDS chapel left a Mormon bishop dead, the Visalia community mourned the loss of a hard-working family man and ecclesiastical leader.

Clay Sannar, 40, was killed Sunday at the meetinghouse where he served as bishop of the Visalia 2nd Ward. The LDS building at the intersection of Conyer Street and Tulare Avenue neighbors the Grace Lutheran Church, the Gateway Church of Visalia and Mount Whitney High School.

"What this bishop did, he gave his life for. There is no bigger calling than that," said John Lloyd, executive pastor at the Gateway Church of Visalia. "We're optimistic that there will be good that comes from this. I know God's face will be seen in it. I am in awe; this is someone who gave his life for the ministry because he was willing to open his door to anyone. In that way, we admire and want to reach out."

On Monday, Visalia police identified Kenneth James Ward, 47, of Modesto, Calif., as the man they say shot Sannar between meetings on Sunday. Following the shooting, officers say Ward called police from a pay phone to identify himself as the shooter and provide his location. He was eventually killed in an exchange of gunfire with police.

Read the rest of this story at
Comments and feedback can be sent to