MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Four members of a West Tennessee church died in a plane crash Tuesday morning near Yoakum, Texas.
In a statement posted on Facebook, Harvest Church of Germantown, Tenn. identified those killed as executive pastor Bill Garner, Steve Tucker, Tyler Patterson, and Tyler Springer. Kennon Vaughan, the church’s lead pastor, was also on the plane and is in stable condition in a Texas hospital.
WREG has confirmed that the plane was owned by Steve Tucker. The cause of the crash is unknown.
Video from The Victoria Advocate, a Texas newspaper, shows first responders on the scene of the crash. They also reported that the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.
Executive pastor Bill Garner’s death came as a shock to his former Evangelical Christian School classmate Michael Allen.
“He was always helpful to other people and wanted to give his heart and show other people love no matter who they were,” he said.
He said knowing Garner was dedicated to his faith gives him solace in the midst of this unthinkable loss.
“Bill is in heaven now and that was his ultimate goal,” Allen said. “We should celebrate be thankful that he’s there and just be inspired looking back on his life and all the things he’s done.”
Harvest Church says its worship center would be open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday for people to gather in prayer and mourning.
Federal investigators should be on the scene Wednesday morning.