John Powell, a church planter and pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in New Caney, Texas, was killed in a highway accident on Saturday, July 18.
Powell, 38, was struck by a semi and killed, according to a report from the Sherman, Texas, police department.
According to television station KXII, a truck driving north on U.S. Highway 75 was struck by a car. Reportedly, the car caught fire, and Powell and another man pulled over to assist. The driver of the car that was on fire survived.
News of Powell's death was shared on social media by Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. Moore was a friend and former professor of Powell's.
On Sunday, news of his death was met with grieving and tributes on social media. People showed pain and sorrow towards Powell and his family as Moore wrote on Twitter, "I am shocked and shaken and grieving this morning, beyond what I can say......."
"My former student John Powell was killed last night, hit by an eighteen-wheeler while helping stranded motorists off of a highway."
Powell left behind his wife and four young children. He and his family had moved to New Caney, north of Houston, from Hamlin, Texas, in 2016. He had previously been director of admissions at Southern Seminary and discipleship pastor at Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, according to his ERLC.
The president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary stated Powell loved Christ, preached Christ, trusted Christ, and that their heart breaks for him and his family. Jason Allen, president of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, called Powell "one of the best men I've ever known."
A GoFundMe site to raise funds for Powell's family was set up by Andrew Walker, a professor at Southern seminary.
"We are asking for friends and family to help care for the Powell family as they deal with unspeakable tragedy and grief," the appeal reads. "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."
On Monday, Emmanuel released a statement, saying the work of the church goes on.
"This past weekend, our church experienced one of the greatest tragedies we can imagine," the church said. "Pastor John Powell, in an act in the image of His sacrificial Savior, was killed in a traffic accident. While we deeply grieve this loss, we remember what he would want us to remember: that Christ is the head of this church, and the vision and passion that John instilled in us is still alive."