Friends of Columbus church members mourn deaths - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Friends of Columbus church members mourn deaths

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

COLUMBUS,  GA (WALB) – We now know the 13-year-old girl killed Sunday night when her church van rolled and crashed just outside of Blakely is the daughter of the church pastor who was also killed, 35-year-old Ronmyka Williams.

More than a dozen other members of the Columbus church who were in the crowded van remain hospitalized Tuesday morning.

The pastor of Tabernacle of Prayer and Deliverance, Ronmyka Williams and his wife Timika started the church in 2006. The majority of the members were on that van that overturned and threw out its passengers when a back tire blew.

Now people who knew those who lost their lives are mourning and turning to God for strength.

"We as a body of Christ need to come together," said Percy Roberson. He's turning to prayer as he tries making sense of this horrific scene that changed so many lives Sunday night just outside of Blakely.

"It's one thing to lose one family member. But to lose several and then your pastor and the children that are hurt," said Roberson.

19 members of the Columbus based Tabernacle of Prayer and Deliverance church were on the van traveling to Florida when it crashed. The church pastor, Ronmyka Williams and his daughter, 13-year-old Jasmine Shelley were killed. His wife and their 11-month old child are among the injured.

"I was waiting for 'no it wasn't him' but once I found out it was true, it hit me real hard. We were like brothers," said David Motherman Jr, a friend of the pastor.

20-year-old Jennifer Walton and 19-year-old Cameron Freeman were also killed. Freeman's best friend of four years is remembering the Columbus Tech student who loved music and dance.

"It is tough to see somebody you care for like a brother, family member, sit beside you one day and the next minute he's gone," said David Marshall.

The small church of only 30 to 35 members has set up a memorial outside the church to remember those lost and injured in the crash.

Troopers say it appears no one was wearing their seatbelt.


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