Dear Celebration Church Family,
As many in our Church family know all too well, life is filled with unexplainable tragedies. Last night such a tragedy occurred when our Celebration Westbank Campus Pastor, Claude Williams, was taken from this life in a traffic accident. As far as we can tell, Pastor Claude and his long time friend Jeff Leinart stopped on the elevated Westbank Expressway to assist someone who had a flat tire. While they were assisting the person someone else hit them and the car they were working on, and their lives and another person’s life were ended.
Pastor Claude’s wife, Twila, and their boys (Emmett, Elijah and Emory) were in Knoxville, Tennessee visiting her mother. They and Pastor Claude’s mother have been told about what has happened. Let’s pray for them constantly, asking the Lord, the “God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3) to help them process through their pain and sorrow in the coming weeks, month and years. We will stand with them and assist them in every week in the coming days.
We also need to pray for our Celebration Family, especially our Celebration Westbank Members. Pastor Claude was greatly loved by all who knew him. He has been a faithful, faith-filled, godly and loving leader and a great example and encourager to many people in our congregation and the community around us. He recently led our Celebration Westbank congregation to acquire, renovate and move into our new Worship/Ministry facility at 1104 Terry Parkway in Gretna. In his report that he sent to me and our Campus Pastors yesterday he shared with us that yesterday was an outstanding day at Celebration Westbank. He was excited about praying for 7 little children during our Blessing of the Children times, preaching about the story of Abraham and Isaac from Genesis 22, having the largest non-Easter attendance ever at Celebration Westbank, and seeing how people responded to the worship service and ministry.
As I said earlier, life is filled with unexplainable tragedies – and this is certainly one of them. We take comfort in the fact that “the Lord is our refuge and our strength and a very present help in time of trouble” (Psalm 46:1), in the fact that this life is so short compared to what we will experience in Heaven, and that we will see Pastor Claude again in Heaven.
I will send you details later this week regarding the family’s needs and regarding a Memorial service. In the meantime keep praying for Twila and her boys, Pastor Claude’s mother and his siblings, for our Celebration Westbank members, and for our entire Church family.
Lead Pastor, Celebration Church