Long Hollow Baptist Church is mourning the passing of esteemed staff pastor Chris Swain, who died earlier this month at the age of 47.
According to Christian Headlines, Swain, "an author, podcaster, and discipleship pastor" at Long Hollow, had planned to attend a baseball game with pastor Robby Gallaty, one of his best friends, on Friday the 9th of July.
In the morning before going to the game, Swain went for a stroll with the family dog, Emmitt.
Swain was discovered unconscious and not breathing near his mailbox at about 6 p.m. According to Swain's wife, a neighbor stopped by and performed CPR before calling for an ambulance.
He was brought to the hospital and put on a ventilator, but he never regained consciousness.
"We begged God, we read Scripture, we wept at times because we could not talk," said Gallaty.
Gallaty and other church officials, as well as around 150 church members, went to the hospital to pray for Swain. Gallaty was devastated by Swain's death.
"I was the last person he texted," Gallaty said. "He was my closest friend in the world. He is part of everything we do. He's going to leave a huge void, not only for our church but for me as a friend."
Since 2018, Gallaty has lost four friends including prominent pastors Jarrid Wilson and Darr Patrick. He also lost one valued member of the church staff. On the same day Swain died, Gallaty's father-in-law was found comatose in his house and was brought to the hospital.
Swain's previous pastor in Arkansas, Ronnie Floyd, who is now president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee, has also requested prayers for Swain on social media.
"I thank God for the leadership of Pastor Robby Gallaty, his wife Kandi, the Long Hollow staff team and the entire church family," Floyd said in an email to Religion News Service.
Concerning Long Hollow, RNS said that the Southern Baptist church has had its share of tragedies in the past. David Landrith, the church's long-time pastor, died of cancer in 2014. A church member and her little kid were killed in their home this past December.
Swain leaves behind his wife, Melissa, and their two children. Services are still in the works.
Chris Swain's bio
According to Dignity Memorial, Christopher Allen Swain was born to James and Sandra Swain in Tehran, Iran. Chris joined the Marine Corps after graduating from Springdale High School and honorably served his nation.
He met Melissa at church, and they married on November 14, 1998. When their child Caedmon was born, Chris became a proud father, and when Honor was born, he eagerly assumed the label "girl dad." Chris was in his element in 2016 by assisting local churches in making disciples who train disciple makers.
He died on July 15, 2021, and his family and friends are looking forward to the day when they may all be together again. Swain's life verse was Acts 13:36 which reads, "For David, after serving God's purpose in his own generation, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and decayed."