After a plane disaster on Tuesday that claimed the lives of four of his fellow church officials, the pastor of a Tennessee church was the only survivor, shocking parishioners and loved ones.
Harvest Church in Germantown, Tennessee, released a statement Tuesday expressing sorrow amid the monumental loss and noted the congregation is “without the proper words” to articulate its grief.
“We ask for your prayers and request the families involved are given proper space to grieve,” the statement read.
Lead Pastor Dr. Kennon Vaughan, the lone survivor, is in a Texas hospital in stable condition after the plane went down Tuesday around 11 a.m. near Yoakum, Texas.
Church members Tyler Patterson and Tyler Springer were killed, as were Executive Pastor Bill Garner and church elder Steve Tucker, WMC-TV reported.
Tucker, who was piloting, reportedly owned the plane; further details on the exact issue leading to the crash are currently unknown.
Parishioners reportedly gathered Tuesday night at Harvest Church to mourn the immeasurable losses.
On Wednesday morning, the church updated the public on Vaughan’s status, releasing some encouraging developments.
Despite requiring surgery Tuesday night to treat significant injuries, the preacher is breathing on his own and is communicating — two miraculous signs unfolding just one day after the deadly incident.
“We rejoice this morning in God’s goodness. Kennon is breathing on his own and has been able to communicate some through writing,” the statement read. “The latest reports from the doctors are all positive.”
The church said the preacher is at a top trauma hospital and expressed gratitude to the Lord while also asking for prayer for his continued recovery.
“We are so thankful for God’s provision,” the statement continued. “Kennon still needs to have some surgeries to repair injuries to his abdomen, so please continue to pray for a full recovery.”
Michael Allen, a former classmate of Garner, said the pastor was truly a special individual who loved and cared for others.
“He was always helpful to other people and wanted to give his heart and show other people love no matter who they were,” Allen told WREG-TV.
Officials are investigating the cause of the tragic crash.
Be sure to pray for the church, families, and loved ones suffering during this difficult time.