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Fallen Solider to be Honored in Columbus—Radical Church Threatens to Picket


Sergeant Christopher Roger Bell

Alabama Governor, Patriot Guard Riders to Attend

Sergeant Christopher Roger Bell, 21, of Red Bay, AL was killed in the Alingar District, Lagham Province of Afghanistan on June 4th when a roadside bomb exploded, leaving Bell and three of his fellow soldiers dead. Bell’s funeral service will be held in Columbus, where his mother Barbara Bell was raised.

The visitation will be from 6-9 Thursday at Memorial Funeral Home on 716 2nd Avenue North and the funeral service will begin Friday at 2:00pm at Memorial Funeral Home, with full military escort to Living Faith Tabernacle Cemetery. The Patriot Guard Riders Motorcycle Club will be in Columbus for the ceremony and Alabama Governor Robert Bentley will attend the memorial Thursday night.

He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart and Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal, and Combat Action Badge, posthumously. He was also awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal w/ Bronze Service Star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Combat and Special Skill Badge Basic Marksmanship Qualification Badge and Overseas Service Bar.

The son of Timothy Roger and Barbara Wooten Bell, SGT Bell was born January 5, 1990 in St. Joseph, MI. A graduate of Tremont, MS High School, he enlisted in the United States Army in February, 2008. He was a member of the 164th Military Police Company, 793rd MP Battalion, 3MEB at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, AK. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather Frank Bell and an uncle Timothy Pugh.

He is survived by his wife Samantha Lucas Bell and daughter Lana Nicole Bell, both of Fort Richardson, AK, his parents Timothy and Barbara Bell, and brothers Zachary and Timothy Joseph Bell, all of Red Bay, AL. He is also survived by his maternal grandparents James and Mary Wooten of Vernon, AL, his paternal grandmother Judith Pitcher of MI, his mother and father –in-law Vera and Roger Lucas and his brother – in law Roger Lucas, all of Vina, Al.

Army Specialists Andrew Fettig, Patrick Fry, Robert Worthington and PFC William Berreman, all members of 793rd MP Battalion, will serve as pallbearers in addition to the Mississippi Army National Guard Honor Guard.

Memorials may be made in SGT Bell’s name to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4889 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 3 Also killed in service alongside Sgt. Bell were: Sgt. Joshua D. Powell of Quitman, Texas; Specialist Devin A. Snyder of Cohocton, N.Y.; and PFC Robert L. Voakes of L’Anse, Michigan

A possible picket was forewarned of by Westboro Baptist Church, a radical church based in Topeka, Kansas. The church, which is renowned for picketing fallen soldiers funerals, issued a press release on Tuesday saying that their message is to be preached in respectful, lawful proximity of the Memorial Funeral Home Friday afternoon at 1:15pm. The church says on its’ website that “God hates America & is killing troops in His wrath”.Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John said Wednesday that he was aware of the possibility of the church’s attendance, and the department will be prepared. The Patriot Guard Riders have confirmed they were invited to attend the ceremony and will be in attendance should the protesters show up. The Patriot Guard was established in 2005 to protect the dignity of funerals from the Westboro Baptist Church picketers.



  1. If I was back in town and that “church” was doing devils work, I’d go to jail. Do these idiots not understand that the reason they can picket is because of the fallen? If not, they need to sit in their “church” and read a 4th grade social studies book. My prayers are with the his family.

  2. Definitely need to put a stop to this! I’ll be taking my lunch break downtown if needed! Prayers to his family and many thanks for everything our military does to protect our freedom!

  3. really? how in the heck could anyone disrespect the fallen like that? whatever happened to morals? even my elementary children know that it’s wrong! our prayers are with his family and friends!

  4. Even if someone disagrees with the war, they should, at the very least, have respect for his family’s need to grieve and honor his life. I personally find it offensive that these people do not realize their approach does nothing besides cause unnecessary pain. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  5. Well do what Brandon MS did. Parked behind their cars in the hotels and oops tow truck drivers were busy and the Vets with their angel wing barriers came and only a couple of protesters made it to the funeral. Right after the funeral the Brandon people moved their vehicles and that was that. I fully expect the people of my hometown to do something to protect this soldier’s honor.

  6. I say we put the whole lot of them on a plane and drop them off in Irag and let them protest where the action is. They are cowards and the sad thing is that men have died so they have the freedom to do their crazy crap. My prayers are with his family. We are proud of you Sgt Bell.

  7. I was born and raised in Columbus and I know my fellow Columbus friends and family will not stand for this! Please stop these people from even showing up! Just like they did in Brandon,MS. they blocked their cars in and the police and tow companies refused to tow the vehicles away. Let’s teach these crazy people what Columbus stands for and that we won’t tolerate this behavior! Let’s show them Columbus United and Mississippi United against these evil people! These Soldiers died defending the U.S. and the great state of Mississippi! Let’s not let them have died in vain!

  8. soundtex

    How do people interpret the word of God to promote their hate on our soldiers, especially ones that gave their life for our country? Please repel these offensive people from our community…

  9. These people do not have the right to call themselves American’s. We here in Nashville didn’t allow this to happen earlier this week and growing up in Columbus, I know it will not be tolerated. Shame on these people!! God is watching you!!!!!!!! Go back to where you came from and get out of the South! I thank God, our men and women defending our lives and our country and their families for their service. May they all come home safe.

  10. Everyone who can should attend this from the outside and hold large American flags in a row between the family and the idiots to keep the family from seeing them. That is what Rolling Thunder does in Kentucky!

  11. Liza Shannon

    Really sad! I can’t believe this! Thank you so much to the family of this soldier. Your son is my HERO! Thank you for the sacrifice he made and you have made for me, my family, and for our country. May God bless you and give you a peace during this time that only comes from HIM!

  12. Attention church people. It’s men and women like this soldier who are fighting for your freedom to gather and worship as you want to. Leave him alone. No, I didn’t read the whole article, but – Leave this soldier and his family alone. You ought to be ashamed of YOURSELF, not those fighting for this country. One more thing….IF you got a problem with the way we honor OUR soldiers…get the hell out of OUR country!

  13. Brian Price

    Who gives this church the right to say who my GOD hates! In my 31 years of active church worship (my whole life), I have always known in my heart that GOD hates no one! As an Iraqi Veteran I am appauled and disgusted by this churches actions! Prayers are sent up for my fallen comrade and his loved ones, also for this so called church! Thanks also for the warm and heart felt welcome and support of the Patriot Guard Riders. You guy’s are truly appreciated by the real GOD FEARING Americans.

  14. Funeral starts at 2 pm. Please line the street from the funeral home over to Main Street and all the way down to Gardner. Turn left onto Gardner and line it all the way to Hwy 50. Take a right, line Hwy 50 all the way to Shelton Street. Bring your flags and your own signs and honor this young man who gave his life for us. It’s the least we can do.

  15. kevin jaudon

    Someone needs to load up a manure spreader and leave it a lttle soupy and treat these so called christians to improve their spiritual maturityThey already are covered in their own excrement.

  16. Cross post so all people in Columbus will know about it. Some VFW members will be setting up at the start of Gardner and Main (or 182 as it is known)

  17. Amaris Robinson

    These people are members of a cult, not a church.
    There is no fruit of the Spirit anywhere near these people and their actions.
    Residents of Columbus are planning to line the route to the cemetery at 2 P.M. in order to try to hide the heartless, cruel “protest” signs – Main St., Gardner Blvd., Hwy 50., Shelton St.

  18. Ashley S.

    You know…this is the first time in almost 2 years I wish I was back in Columbus. I would just love to speak my mind to that infestation of a group who pickets solider funerals. I am very, very happy to hear that the Patriot Guard Riders will be in Columbus to help. It just makes me sick to know that there is such a hateful group of people who feel it is their divine duty to create more pain for the families and friends of lost soldiers. How in anyone’s mind that is okay is just psychotic.

  19. I really hope Columbus peeps don’t let these freaks ruin the service of this soldier and help give his family their right to grieve and lay him to rest peacefully. If I still lived there I’d be one of the first ones hunting them down and trying everything to make sure they got nowhere near the funeral.

  20. This song was written and composed by STRATUS in Southeastern North Carolina, for the fallen and their famlies and the one’s left to fight another day, it was written for all Service Members of the United States Of America. I pray it brings you comfort to know that there are folks like us that believe that a simple thank you for your Service is NOT enough, these words are pale in comparison to our gratitude we feel for Sergeant Christopher Roger Bell, you, and your family. We are so sorry you lost you loved one, defending our Freedom to live, worship, to create and write songs like this one just for you all.

  21. kevin jaudon

    To quote a line from the movie Josey Wales there are thre types of suns in Kansas ,Sunshine,Sunflowers , and sunsab****es

  22. Johnny Phillip Morris

    Blocking cars bearing Kansas license plates is an illegal act . If one is to defend the First Amendment, then one must defend the right of free speech for both the hero and the villain. The First Amendment was especiially designed to protect “unpopular speech.”

    Sgt. Bell’s funeral should have been a very private affair, absent of any protests from religious or political groups, including the Patriot Guard, which lined the streets with M-4 assault weapon-toting vigilates.

    The Jayhawkers have legal right to be there.

    Why confront them? Just ignore them!

    Who will Bernie crown with his roses this time?

  23. Johnny Phillip Morris

    Is Ben Toledano for or against freedom of speech …especially “unpopular” speech?

    Seems that lawyer Ben is criticizing Bernie for upholding the free speech of the Jayhawker protestors, however “unpopular” that speech may be?

    But then Ben worked under the tutelage of the Arab-baiting demagogue William F. Buckley Jr. at the National Review. Nuff said!

    Is this the same “Ben” that posts to Tupelo’s Tom Freeland blog?

    Ironically, it was William F. Buckley Jr. that advocated–in an editorial– invading Libya and overthrowing Khaddafi back in 1970, when he(Khaddafi) deposed King Idris in a bloodless coup. The William Buckley’s, Armand Hammers , the George Bushes and the Rockefeller crime families were bleeding that country and its people of its oil revenues.

    Buckley is dead, but his murderous legacy lives on through Killery Clinton, John Kerry and the POTUS.

  24. JPM is unbelievable

    John Phillip Morris,,,, why did they issue you a computer??? Why are you allowed on the internet? I am so disgusted to see your posts, spam and everything else on here…and I am one of the millions that have fought for your freedom to do so,,,sometimes I wonder

  25. Johnny Phillip Morris

    and I am one of the millions that have fought for your freedom to do so,,,sometimes…

    What country and its people threatened your “freedoms(sic)?”

  26. jeff

    wow somebody needs to get back on there medication and wrap aluminum foil around his head to block out the voices that there hearing i wont say no names but i hope you know who you are you need serious help dude

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