On Tuesday, a small plane crash resulted in the death of four people from the same church congregation, while one pastor survived the tragedy.
“There were five people aboard the aircraft. Four of the people are deceased,” Sargeant Ruben San Miguel of the Texas Department of Public Safety told newspaper Victoria Advocate. “One person was able to get out of the aircraft and is in stable condition.”
One of the people who passed away was the executive pastor of the Harvest Church, located in Germantown, Tennessee. The crash took place within a mile of the Yoakum Municipal Airport and the plane went down in Lavaca County in Texas.
According to Fox 13, FlightAware tracking showed that the group departed from Memphis right before eight in the morning on Tuesday, and the crash occurred around three hours afterward. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are helping to investigate the incident.
The church held space at its worship center after the tragedy for people to come together to pray and mourn as a church body, according to social media.
The church also posted 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 on its page with a photo of a candle.
The post of the verse reads, “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
The single-engine airplane was a Piper PA-46-350P, which can reportedly normally fit one pilot with five additional people. Those who live in the area where it crashed said there were persistent foggy conditions around eleven in the morning, according to Crossroads Today.
Kennon Vaughan, a pastor and reported elder at the church, lived through the crash.
The church also provided updates about Kennon Vaughan’s situation. It reported that Kennon was extubated and able to breathe without assistance. They asked for prayers for his pain and that no infection would start to form. They also noted that spinal and brain reports were clear and also asked for prayers for his wife, Kathryn, as she remains with him.
“At present, Downline has trained thousands of Christ-followers around the globe in biblical discipleship and provides the opportunity for discipleship training through our various live Institutes and Virtual platform,” Downline Ministries’ website explained.
The four people who died in the crash included Bill Garner and Steve Tucker, who were both elders at the church. Tyler Patterson and Tyler Springer were members of the church who also tragically passed away. Tucker owned the business Circle Y Saddles and was also the president of the company.
The company reportedly said in a statement on Facebook that Tucker was a “visionary owner and president.”
“For those who were fortunate enough to know Mr. Tucker, it was truly an honor. His wisdom, faith, and innovation touched many lives in the equestrian community. His legacy will live on through the family of brands he created by continuing to handcraft saddles and accessories for all types of riders and horse owners,” it added.