MARTIN — A March 29 accident involving the church van led to an adjustment for Martin Baptist pastor Roddy Turner’s Easter sermon, giving thanks for the children and ministry workers who survived the rollover off the Toccoa Bypass.
Having just dropped off two of the van’s original 11 occupants, church member Audrey Fleming was driving, her husband Gary in the passenger seat, when the driver of a Chevrolet truck failed to yield. The collision sent the 15-passenger van off the road before rolling over. A six-year-old child was ejected, suffering several broken bones when the van came to rest on her arm. Bystanders arrived soon to lift the van off the child.
A female in the truck was also ejected. The truck driver has since been charged with DUI.
One week later, all nine occupants of the van were at Martin Baptist Church’s Easter services.
“I couldn’t help but point out how when I arrived [at the crash scene] I felt like the women who ran to the empty tomb in Matthew 28,” said Turner. “I didn’t know what to expect. I had no idea as to if anyone was dead or injured.
“I was expecting the worst, but God did what only God could do.”
The church has had a tradition of providing transportation for children in the area wanting to attend church. On Easter the wrecked van proved to be unnecessary as the children arrived … with their parents.
“I couldn’t help but point out how when I arrived [at the crash scene] I felt like the women who ran to the empty tomb in Matthew 28.”
The church’s outreach to the surrounding area has made for an ethnically diverse congregation, Turner said.
“We have a lot of different people here,” he added. “Former alcoholics, recovering drug addicts, and they’re all genuine Christians. God is going to raise up someone from this little spot in the mountains. What if it’s one of these children?”