The Brooklyn congregation was left in shock after hearing the news of the tragic death of Pastor Aracely Courtenay. She is the assistant pastor and wife of the senior pastor at Emmanuel Church of God and recently passed away after being hit by a vehicle while crossing the street.
Tragic Death of Pastor Aracely Courtenay
A report from The Christian Post stated that based on the information obtained from the New York Police Department, before 7 o'clock on Saturday, Feb. 18, 50-year-old Aracely Courtenay tried crossing East 21st Street in Flatbush. However, she fell to the ground after stepping into a hollow and was hit by a 2015 Toyota Highlander. It was driven by a 58-year-old man who remained at the accident scene.
Courtenay was found to have suffered head trauma and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the Kings County Hospital Center. Moreover, no charges have been brought against the driver of the vehicle.
The tragedy occurred within a few blocks of the Emmanuel Church of God, where Courtenay's husband served as the senior pastor. It was located in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.
Remembering Pastor Aracely Courtenay
Pastor Aracely Courtenay served as the assistant pastor in Emmanuel Church of God, where her husband, Bishop Curt E. Courtenay, served as a senior pastor, Black Enterprise reported.
The church informed their congregation about the unexpected departure of their beloved 1st Lady, Pastor Aracely Courtenay, on their Facebook page. They also asked for support and prayers to give them God's strength during this difficult time.
As mentioned, Courtenay's tragic death is a loss to the church and the entire Brooklyn community. She spent eight years working in property management and coordinated housing for families with low and moderate incomes, primarily emphasizing single mothers. In addition to that, Courtenay was in charge of the Talitha Cumi Women's Ministry.
On Sunday,Feb. 19, during the continuation of the church services, Bishop Joseph Nathan Boyd delivered a touching sermon to a congregation that was in mourning. He urged listeners to "Just for a minute, look at your neighbor and say; I know that your heart is heavy. With both of our hearts, we can make it through this." Besides her husband, she also left her two kids, Gesai, Curt Jr. and Kayris
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Emmanuel Church of God
According to Emmanuel Church of God, the church was founded by Rev. Ricardo Cachedon and his wife, Aurora, in 1980. After migrating from Panama with eight members, they established a congregation in their apartment. Within a year, the ministry's membership grew, and they rented their first space from another church. In 1982, the church finally secured a location on its own, which became known as The First Panamanian Church. In 1984, Pastor Eduardo Simmons and his wife, Judith, were responsible for carrying on the church's mission. During their time in charge, the ministry continued to expand, and in 1986 it bought its first permanent home. After several years had passed, in 1992, the congregation decided that the name of the church should be altered to the more fitting Emmanuel Church of God. The need for a much larger space became evident as the ministry expanded and took up more and more territory. In 1995, a more substantial structure was acquired, and it continues to serve as the primary location of the church's administrative offices even today.
In 2000, when Pastor Simmons moved to Panama, his assistant, Rev. Curt Courtenay, assumed the position of Senior Pastor. The Emmanuel Christian Cultural Fellowship (2003) and two congregations were established under Bishop Courtenay and his wife, Pastor Aracely Courtenay.
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