Members of a large church congregation in Loxley are mourning the sudden loss of their pastor. According to a post on the Loxley Church of God’s Facebook page, Pastor Herman Knapp was killed Friday in a four-wheeler accident. You’ve probably seen this place driving to the beach on Highway 59. It’s the large church you see as you’re passing through Loxley.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced but the post said they will let the community know when they plan to honor the life of Pastor Knapp in some way. Remembrances are pouring into their Facebook post. One member wrote “Pastor Herman touched so many lives. His reward is great and I’m sure he is singing praises at the feet of our Father”
It’s hard to put into words what this Pastor meant to this congregation. Choking back tears, Chelsea Middleton talked about how Pastor Herman built a special bond with her young son Ryker whenever she brought him with her to work.
“Incredible, he welcomed me home from college, he officiated my marriage and he dedicated my son and that’s not something you easily forget,” said Middleton. Seen in a Youtube video posted just barely more than a month ago, Pastor Herman Knapp talked about the importance of Baptism.
“He wanted to see people take the next step in their faith it wasn’t just simply his goal to get them to come down to the altar and pray he wanted to help them progress in their relationship with Jesus,” said student and college Pastor Ory Hamilton. This is one of those reminders that, somtimes, bad things happen to good people.
“He genuinely love you, you never had to question whether he loved you or not,” said Church member Dale Causey. “The Bible says there will be times that are rough, it doesn’t promise you a rose garden everyday but He did promise that He would never leave us for forsake us.” The Pastor is survived by his wife Kim and two young children, Isaac and Jadewyn. Funeral arrangements have not been announced. The church will combine the early and late services Sunday morning at 9:45 for a message of hope. Pastor Ory is also asking for prayers for the Pastor’s family as they deal with this difficult loss.
Monroe County Sheriff Tom Tate said the accident happened at a hunting club on County Road 56 in Bueana Vista. This is northwest of Beatrice. The Sheriff said Knapp was riding his ATV along a powerline right-of-way, in tall grass, when the vehicle came upon a steep incline. Tate said the vehicle flipped on its side and rolled over on the Pastor killing him instantly. A friend discovered the accident and called authorities. The first 911 call came in at about 4pm the Friday before Labor Day.
His body was taken to forensic sciences for an autopsey. Tate said there is no reason to believe drugs, alcohol or foul play was involved.
Pictures were provided by W.T. Pickett Photography.