Tenn. Baptist summer missionary dies in accident
Lonnie Wilkey, Baptist and Reflector
June 17, 2010

Tenn. Baptist summer missionary dies in accident

Tenn. Baptist summer missionary dies in accident
Lonnie Wilkey, Baptist and Reflector
June 17, 2010

STANDISH, Maine — Tennessee

Baptist summer missionary Palmer Maphet, 20, of Mount Juliet, was killed June

16 and three other Tennessee students and their supervisor were injured after

the car they were traveling in was struck by another vehicle near Portland.

Maphet, a sophomore at

Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, was serving on a travel team sent out

by Tennessee Baptist Collegiate Ministry. The team was traveling to minister at

Laconia Motorcycle Week in Laconia, N.H., when the accident occurred.

Three other students also

were injured: Leah Hardwick, Jackson, a student at Jackson State Community

College; Justin Owens, Union City, a student at the University of Tennessee,

Martin; and Legon Craighead, Gordonsville, a student at Union University,


Also injured was Marilyn McClendon, the students’ supervisor who was

driving the car.

Owens, Craighead and

McClendon were treated at Maine Medical Center and released the same day.

Hardwick was held overnight and expected to be released on June 17.

According to a news report

by the Portland (Maine) News, a Toyota Tacoma pickup truck, driven by Paula

Haddow, 63, of Standish, crossed into the lane and struck McClendon’s car.

“Palmer Maphet was an

exceptional Christian man,” said Bill Choate, director of Baptist Collegiate

Ministries (BCM) for the Tennessee Baptist Convention (TBC). “He will obviously

be missed by so very many.”

Maphet was very involved in

the BCM at Tennessee Tech, according to BCM director John Aaron Matthew.

After the accident, Matthew

posted on Facebook that Palmer had served as team leader of his freshman

spiritual growth team and this past spring began his new position on the

upperclassmen discipleship team.

He also was “preparing to reach his dorm for Christ

as a community group leader,” Matthew wrote.

“Palmer lived a life that

was not wasted because he lived his life running hard after Christ in an effort

to know God and to make Him known,” Matthew also observed on his Facebook page.

Matthew asked for prayer for

the Maphet family and for his summer mission team in Maine.

“Please pray that

Palmer’s life still continues to bring glory to God even in death.”

Choate noted that each

summer Tennessee BCM sends students to New England to serve with Southern Baptist

churches in reaching out into their communities.

He noted that McClendon, who

was leading this team, “is one of BCM’s very best partners and local missionary

supervisors, working with us for many years to engage Tennessee students in

ministry in a secular culture.”

McClendon, a former staff

member at Highland Baptist Church in Tullahoma, currently serves on the staff

at SouthCoast Community Church in Scarborough, a suburb of Portland.

Stacy Murphree, TBC

collegiate missions specialist, was traveling to Maine on Thursday to be with

the remaining BCM summer missionaries.