When a church loses a family member

This is so hard. Words cannot even express what my church has been going through the past few days. So recently, my friend Billy died in a car accident where he was killed on impact. He was 19 years old.

Since that night, words of love, support and bewilderment have been pouring in throughout my church and various prayer chains via texts, Facebook and in person. A dear friend took off from work to simply reflect and cry at the news. Mothers wanted nothing more than to keep their kids home as much as possible. To my knowledge, church members have been dropping off meals and encouraging notes.

As horrible as a situation as this is, watching the way my church community has reacted made me so proud to be a part of it. While nothing is ever perfect, my church is a family, and now we are missing a brother, son and leader. We now have a Billy-shaped hole missing from our family and it will never be filled. The kid that I saw grow up with such a great attitude in youth group meetings, rocking out his talent at every athletic church event and letting himself be “embarrassed” every Vacation Bible School to make sure the kids had motivation to learn their memory verses, will never be forgotten. The boy who took in my hermit crab when my RAs from college made me give him up will always be an outstanding memory in my mind. When discussing the loss with my sister, she mentioned that she may not have kept up with Billy since going away to college, but she was grateful to him being there with her  at youth group when it almost went under. That’s a connection that she will never forget.

Making up a show for the kids who learned their verses in ’08

I wish I could offer more to his memory. I wish I had more pictures of him. I wish I could just hold his entire family in my arms as they reel from this transition.

I have always wondered, that as believers, when we passed through those Pearly Gates and lay our treasures at Jesus’ feet… do we get one on one time with Him? Do we get to just spend a day in Heaven chillin’ with the one true God? Together, do we celebrate what skills and joys we had on Earth? Can we dance with the Son of Man, mosh-pit to the heaviest metal song on the planet, skip rocks on a never-ending ocean? Knowing Billy, he would take his time playing catch. Hmmm, makes me wonder if there is some kind of ethereal pig-skinned ball that just gets that perfect spin as it leaves Billy’s hands and goes to God’s all-powerful ones.

Playing the Quarterback in the superbowl church game. February 2012

That is one thing. As sad and heart-broken as my church family is, we have full-reassurance that Billy with with God right now, and that we will see him one day. Our brains are too small to fully comphrenhend eternity, but our souls can be satisfied by God’s truth. As much as our hearts hurt through loss of loved ones, our souls have never-ending joy at God’s love and creation.

You are missed, Billy Clark. First Baptist was grateful to have known you and to have enjoyed you for so many years. Many tears have been split, and there are many more to come. But we rejoice at the fact that your life is not over, and your time here was not wasted. Your commitment to your family, work and church was outstanding, and an example for many.

To those reading this post, please uplift Billy’s family in prayer; send love to Bill and Angel, Faith and Charity, Bailey and Richie, and to his beloved, Anna.


Thank you, and God bless.

When a church loses a family member

One thought on “When a church loses a family member

  1. Dear Angel and family, I can’t imagine the pain and heartache you feel, but knowing you and your walk with The Lord, He is giving you strength. I was always impressed the way your family stood for Jesus and you always had joy. My prayers are with you, Bill, Faith and Charity. We are sad, but the angels are rejoicing.

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