• Church members in shock after tragic Tenn. bus crash

    By: Catherine Bilkey


    Many members of Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville are in shock after the horrific tragedy in Tennessee. One of the church's pastors held a prayer session Wednesday night.

    "We don't have all the facts to give, but we do know that there were several that went on to be with the Lord," Rick Cruz said.

    Six people died on the church bus that carried a group of seniors from the church. They were returning from Gatlinburg, Tenn. They had been at a conference there called Fall Jubilee.

    "We still have members also of our church that are at some of the local hospitals being cared for," Cruz said.

    He could not say the names of the victims Wednesday. Some people came to the church to find out just that, to see if their loved ones had been injured.

    "I've been trying the phone," said Jerry Wright, who is concerned about his brother. "It's been ringing and ringing. I've tried both of them and haven't gotten an answer."

    Wright said his brother occasionally drives the bus on church trips, and he was on this trip with his wife.

    "I'm just hoping for the best," Wright said. "But right now I don't know."

    The pastor said they will need prayers, but their faith isn't shattered.

    "This is a time of difficulty, but we trust in God," Cruz said. "We trust in God that he is there always."

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    Church members in shock after tragic Tenn. bus crash