Texas Pastor Dies in Car Crash Hours after Graduating Bible College
Veronica NeffingerReligious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
- 2016 May 25
A Texas pastor and his three sons were killed in a car crash just hours after he graduated from Bible college. The pastor’s wife and daughter also sustained serious injuries.
According to The Christian Post, Pastor Israel Avelar, 46, and his sons Kevin, 17, Daniel, 14, and Matthew, 6, all died in the crash. Avelar’s wife, Hilda, 41, and daughter Kimberly, 11, are currently recovering in a hospital and it is reported that their condition is improving although Mrs. Avelar’s facial reconstruction surgery had to be postponed because her injuries were so severe they required a specialist.
Blake Holland, a reporter who rushed to the scene of the crash stated, “When I got on scene what I initially saw was quite a mess of an accident; probably the worst I’ve ever seen, several fatalities and several people injured and a lot of the vehicles that were involved you couldn’t even really make out what kind of vehicles they were before the accident happened.”
Police told local station KGAS that Avelar’s son Kevin was driving the family’s GMC Savana when the vehicle was struck from behind by a Chevy Tahoe which pushed the Avelar’s vehicle into the path of an 18-wheeler, causing the grisly crash.
Avelar had just graduated with his degree in Pastoral Theology and Christian Leadership from the Instituto Biblico Bautista Libertad (Freedom Baptist Bible Institute). Avelar was also the pastor of Temple Baptist Church in Lexington.
“God makes no mistakes. 3 years ago, Pastor Israel avelar decided to join the [sic] program of distance education of our institute. Finished the program and last Friday he received his diploma in pastoral theology. Saturday to return to his home in Lexington, God took him to his presence with their three children in a car accident. Please continue praying for the SR. Hilda, the family avelar, and the Bible Baptist Temple of Lexington,” said a statement from the Freedom Baptist Church, where the graduation ceremony was held.
Many people spoke highly of Avelar and his family, and his service to the community.
“He loved his church members. He loved his family. He would always call us. They were all loveable. It’s some words that I just can’t, to me they were like family, personal family,” said Rita Aleman who works at the Institute from which Avelar graduated.
A GoFundMe campaign has been started to help the family raise money for funeral costs. Thus far, $12,000 out of $90,000 has been raised.
Publication date: May 25, 2016