Crime

'Devastating,' pastor says of church custodian's death in Macon's first homicide of 2018

First Baptist Church of Christ custodian Ida Ford, Macon's first homicide victim of 2018, wrote in her profile that she's a "proud mother and grandmother and enjoy being with family and friends in my free time." She was found fatally shot on Winship Street on Jan. 8, 2018.
First Baptist Church of Christ custodian Ida Ford, Macon's first homicide victim of 2018, wrote in her profile that she's a "proud mother and grandmother and enjoy being with family and friends in my free time." She was found fatally shot on Winship Street on Jan. 8, 2018. Special to The Telegraph

The shots fired in Macon's first homicide of the year have torn a hole in the hearts of her family and the congregation of First Baptist Church of Christ.

Ida Mae Ford, a 49-year-old mother of six and grandmother to many more, died late Monday near her home in the 2300 block of Winship Street.

Ford, wearing a shower cap and pajamas, had an umbrella and cellphone with her when her body was found in the street during the rain.

Tuesday morning, some of her children had gathered outside her home on the other side of Interstate 75 from Mercer University.

Emotions were too raw Tuesday to discuss what had happened about 12 hours before, a daughter-in-law said.

Ford was an early-to-bed, early-to-rise working woman who served as a custodian for First Baptist Church of Christ atop Poplar Street.

First Baptist pastor Scott Dickison got a call early Tuesday about her death.

"Ida was just a really beautiful person. She had such a big expansive personality that you couldn't help be wooed by her," said Dickison, who has known her about three years.

Ford was a dedicated worker who was beloved by the First Baptist congregation, he said.

"She knew everyone in our church who was a regular, knew all their names and asked about their families," Dickison said.

Her profile on the church's website states she has been working as a custodian for several years at different businesses and hotel chains.

"I'm a proud mother and grandmother and enjoy being with family and friends in my free time," it stated

Ford's family visited with Dickison at the church Tuesday morning and shared stories about her love for her family and others.

"She went above and beyond," Dickison said. "She was a rock in her extended family."

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones said she was shot multiple times.

Police are looking for information and want to talk to anyone who saw or heard anything Monday night.

Anonymous tips can be phoned to Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 877-68-CRIME.

Last year, 30 people were killed in Bibb County, one of the deadliest in recent years.

Dickison said Ford's death has given him a better understanding of the overwhelming grief victims' families have been experiencing.

"To have a name, a face and a person is a different experience," he said. "It's devastating to think about all the families that go through this."

Dickison said First Baptist Church plans to honor Ford's memory, but her funeral arrangements are not yet complete.

Liz Fabian: 478-744-4303; @liz_lines

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