John Powell, a 38-year-old pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in New Caney, Texas, recently lost his life while reportedly saving a stranger.
A husband and father of four young children, Powell was well known for his dedication to Christ, his mentoring and his selflessness. He was a role model for many.
“During my sophomore year of college he took me and several other guys under his wing to disciple us,” a man by the name of Spencer Harmon posted on Facebook. “He taught us practical skills like changing oil, fixing electrical sockets, how to shingle a roof, and even how to ride a bull!
“Most importantly, though, he let us watch him love and cherish his wife, Katherine. He showed us how to love and train your children to love Jesus. He showed us how to work hard until a job was finished. He was intentional, funny, serious, warm, and steady.”
When Powell was out on the road Saturday night, he and another man pulled over to help out with a crash that took place on U.S. Highway 75. The initial accident involved a Dodge Charger and a truck, and though one of the cars caught on fire, there were only minor injuries.
“Initially a Chevy truck pulling a trailer was involved in a crash with a Dodge Charger, causing the Dodge Charger to catch on fire,” Sherman Police Department Sergeant Brett Mullen said, according to KXII-TV.
According to officers who responded to the accident, Powell saw a semi-truck bearing down on the other good Samaritan and pushed him out of the way, sacrificing his own life.
“Since it’s still under investigation, what charges, if any that will be filed have yet to be determined,” Mullen added.
Those who knew Powell have taken to social media to voice their grief and remember the man of God.
“I just don’t know what to say,” wrote theologian and preacher Russell D. Moore, who identified himself as Powell’s former instructor. “John was one of the best men I ever know — sweet-tempered, humble, absolutely devoted to Jesus and to Katherine and their kids. He was everything I would want any of my sons to be when they grow up.”
“In true form, this servant and gentle leader we all knew and love gave his life so that others may live,” wrote Andrew Walker, who formed a GoFundMe for the family. “His life embodies what his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said, ‘Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13).”
As of Tuesday afternoon, the crowdfunding campaign had raised over $217,000 to help his wife, Katherine, as she cares for their children.
“We are asking for friends and family to help care for the Powell family as they deal with unspeakable tragedy and grief,” the GoFundMe stated. “As they have shown all of their family and friends love in times past, let us now, as the body of Christ, show them love and care.”
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