A canvas stretched across a wall inside the church on Lindsey Avenue read: "A praying church."
Saturday afternoon, Saint Paul Bethel Missionary Baptist Church served as a church of mourning for the family and friends of Trina Winston.
"There is a time for everything," the Rev. Derrick Gene Weaver quoted Old Testament scripture. "A time to be born ... a time to die."
Prosecutors say Winston, 45, was murdered sometime around Aug. 18 -- when an acquaintance of her husband, Tarrance Lee, called police saying he saw Winston's body inside her Hickory Village apartment in Mishawaka.
The acquaintance reportedly told police he and two other men were told by Lee that he needed help disposing the body.
Winston's remains were discovered by a Chicago utility worker Oct. 23 on the city's south side behind a vacant home under some tires.
"A utility worker," Winston's sister, Sheila Redding, told the throng of mourners that filled the church Saturday, describing a "stench" that led the worker to her sister's remains.
"He said, 'What's that?' What we would normally run from, he went to it."
Lee was charged with killing his estranged wife -- who had filed for divorce in June -- and dumping her body in Chicago.
Closing arguments ended Friday morning in Lee's trial, a trial that heard witness accounts of Lee threatening to kill Winston.
Testimony was also given by three men who claimed to have seen Winston's body in the Mishawaka apartment, two of whom said they helped Lee dump the body.
"Even after going to court every day, (family members) have put this program together," said the Rev. Andrew Brown. "This family has been a comfort to each other. We need to let them out."
So they prayed.
They clapped and rejoiced as Juanita Winston sang, "I want Jesus to do that for me ... you did that for Trina, you can do that for me."
And they remembered their daughter, mother of three, sister and friend in the obituary "... as a strong woman who fought so hard at trying to get it right, and every time she would fall down, she would fight to get back up."
"She was just fun," said longtime friend Charlene Smith, recalling that when the two lived near each other in a South Bend apartment complex, they put their names together and renamed their complex "Trinalene's."
Meanwhile, final judgment in the trial of the man charged with killing Winston now rests with the judge, who is expected to render a verdict by Wednesday.
"I never went," Smith said of the trial. "I just put it in God's hands."
Staff writer Jeff Harrell: