Friday, December 28, 2012
Pastor Andy Stanley and Church Mourn Loss of Staff in Car Crash
The Alpharetta, Ga., megachurch made the announcement Wednesday, tweeting, "Our hearts are broken."
Celeste and Ryan McCormick, both 27, were involved in a collision with another vehicle in Alabama. Celeste, who was a passenger in a 2003 Honda, died after a 2003 Chevrolet struck them. Ryan sustained injuries but survived.
The driver of the Chevrolet, Brandon Ray Sellers, 20, was also injured.
Alabama State Troopers are investigating the crash.
The McCormicks are both part of the staff at North Point Community Church, one of the largest churches in the country. They served at the megachurch's Gwinnett campus, one of five campuses.
Gwinnett Church is located in Duluth, Ga., approximately 15 miles to the east of the main North Point campus.
In a brief message posted online for the congregation on Wednesday, Gwinnett Church stated, "It is with deep sorrow that I must let you know that Celeste died in the accident. Ryan is currently recovering at a hospital in Montgomery and his prognosis is good.
"Both Ryan and Celeste have done so much for Gwinnett Church. Ryan is on our Service Programming team and Celeste was a part of our UpStreet staff. We are heartbroken and we will miss her greatly. Please pray for Ryan, their parents, and our team."
UpStreet is a Sunday gathering for elementary-aged kids (K - 5th grade).
Members of the church and public have expressed their support with messages of prayer.
"What a heart-wrenching blow to all of us who loved her and fealt (sic) her love. Celeste will be greatly missed. It is comforting to know, that she is safe and whole in our heavenly Father's arms," wrote Bruce & Michelle Saarela on the church's website.
Scott & Stephanie Goodspeed commented, "I served on staff with Ryan at Dogwood Church and my wife and I enjoyed the privilege of doing their pre-marriage counseling. What an amazing love for Christ and thus each other and a testament to their great parents, pastors and disciplers in their lives.
"Like you, our hearts are full of shock, sorrow and hope as we pray for Ryan, their families and your church family."
North Point Community Church did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
[By Lillian Kwon , Christian Post Reporter]