A Statesville church family mourns for friends who died in a church bus crash Wednesday.
A prayer service was held Oct. 2 during Front Street Baptist Church’s Wednesday night service. Members are waiting to hear who was killed in a fatal wreck in Tennessee as a group of the church’s senior members returned from a conference in Gatlinburg.
“There was a very long night for all of us,” Front Street Baptist worship pastor Rick Cruz said today in an Associated Press story. “We know God is in control and is able to heal,” he said.
Eight people are dead after a bus tire blew out while traveling on Interstate 40 in Jefferson County, Tenn. The bus crossed the median, hit a sport utility vehicle (SUV) and collided with a tractor-trailer before it overturned.
Reports say six of 18 people on the bus were killed. The Tennessee Highway Patrol reported that the tractor-trailer driver and someone in the SUV also died.
Fourteen others were injured in the wreck. Two of those are in critical condition.
Cruz thanked the community for its support.
“We know that God is in control, and we know that He is able to heal even in this difficult time,” Cruz said. “We do rejoice in the fact that six of our loved ones are in heaven with the Lord right now, and we know Jesus gave His life for each one of us on the cross so that we may have everlasting life, so that's the hope that we hold onto and that's the truth that we hold onto everyday.”
The church group had just attended the Fall Jubilee 2013 conference, a three-day conference in Gatlinburg, Tenn., and was on the way back to Statesville. The weekend features gospel music and preaching.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends at Front Street Baptist Church in their tragic loss,” the Fall Jubilee 2013 team said in a statement on their website. “Pastor Johnny Hunt, the congregation at First Baptist Church Woodstock, and all the Jubilee team have you in our prayers.”
A “Front Street Baptist Church Family Support Fund” has been established through the North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM). All donations will be used to help meet expenses related to meeting needs – hospital, funeral, etc. – related to the tragic bus wreck.
Send checks to NCBM, P.O. Box 1107, Cary, NC 27512. Designate the check with the fund name. Donations may also be made online here or call Kecia Morgan at (800) 395-5102, ext. 5613.