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.