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USA News

21-year-old youth pastor and wife killed in car crash on their way to church; their baby survives the accident

by Kelly Valencia

A church in the US state of Texas is mourning the loss of its 21-year-old youth pastor and wife who died in a car crash on 19th December.

Hunter and Lexi Wilkes were travelling to the Eastside Baptist Church’s Sunday service with their two-month-old Jett Wilkes when their vehicle was struck by a towing trailer being driven by a 79-year-old man.

The couple were pronounced dead at the scene while the child was taken to hospital with only a small bruise on his leg.

In a Facebook post, Pastor Raymond Walker said to be “in shock and dazed by the news” but “thankful they are with the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“They both are missed tremendously already.  Our whole church is in shock,” he wrote. “I could write a book on the last 1 and 1/2 years since Hunter and Lexi came into our lives at Eastside.  They brought some zeal and energy to our church.”

Hunter had been an associate pastor and youth minister at Eastside Baptist Church for the last 18 months and was a student at Louisiana Missionary Baptist Institute & Seminary. The couple had been married since the summer of 2019.

One of the teenagers from their youth group also paid tribute to the couple: “I had the pleasure to have Hunter and Lexi lead me in the youth program for one year, in that one year I found we each had something very in common… We had many times where we would stay after Wednesday night classes and chat about the end times, scripture, and life itself. I’ll cherish those times forever! They were both great role models for how Christians should act and serve, they each made such a big impact on my life in one year!”

Hunter's brother Hayden Wilkes also took to Facebook to share his feelings. He said that even though he is devastated by the deaths of his brother and sister-in-law, he doesn’t grieve “as others who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13).”

"Hunter would often text me with Bible questions. His first moment in Heaven, he saw and understood more of the glory of Christ than I will ever learn in this life. Jett is fiercely loved by all of his family. He will be raised to love the Lord and will know of his parents and their love for him and for Jesus," he continued.

In a recent update, the church said the child was being looked after by both sides of the family.

“We have been receiving so many messages from people concerned about Hunter and Lexi's precious baby boy and we truly appreciate every single one! Baby Jett has an amazing, loving, Christ-centered family on both sides and we know he has a future full of love!”

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