STATESVILLE, N.C. -- A public memorial service was held Wednesday night for the members of the Front Street Baptist Church who lost their lives in last week’s bus crash in Tennessee.
The service was held at Statesville High School where almost every seat was taken.
Many in attendance had known the victims personally through church or the community, others simply came to pay their respects.
Pastor Tim Stutts said, “No one in this room could have imagined that a week ago today we’d be thrust into a tragedy of this magnitude.”
The bus was returning from a church sponsored trip to a conference in Gatlinburg when it veered across a highway just outside of Knoxville and slammed head-on into a truck. Six church members were killed, along with the driver of the truck and a passenger in an SUV that was also involved in the crash.
Becky Johnson, who is the daughter of Randy and Barbara Morrison, whom both lost their lives, said, “It is hard to come up with words to describe people you have been with your whole life and who loved you more than anybody else in the world.”
While there were tears, there were also stories told of how each of those who died had given so much to their own families and to their larger church family.
Don Lourcy spoke for the family of Brenda Smith, saying, “Those who knew her well agree that the statement, ‘God is good,’ defined her.”
Investigators believe a tire malfunctioned on the bus causing the crash, but a final determination has not yet been made.