A Personal Appeal

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One of the best men I’ve ever known–my beloved former student, pastor John Powell was killed last night, hit by an eighteen wheeler while rescuing some stranded motorists on the highway. Would you help me right now? His young wife, Katherine and their small children, need us. Would you give to this GoFundMe page, anything you can?


Here are some thoughts I posted about John on Facebook earlier today:

I am just shocked and shaken and grieving this morning, beyond what I can say. My former student John Powell was killed last night, hit by an eighteen wheeler while helping stranded motorists off of a highway. John leaves behind his precious wife Katherine and their small children, as well as the church he pastored.

I just don’t know what to say. John was one of the best men I ever knew- sweet-tempered, humble, absolutely devoted to Jesus and to Katherine and their kids. He was everything I would want any of my sons to be when they grow up.

John was in my Sunday School class, our men’s Bible study, and in my theology, ethics, and preaching classes at Southern. At every Sunday School fellowship, he was the first one setting everything up. When anyone was in need, he was the first one there.

He was at our house Thanksgiving, his first semester at Southern, telling us about Katherine, how much he loved her, how he wanted nothing more than to marry her. It was obvious that this was the love of his life. I said, “Well, why don’t you?” He smiled, got up from the table, drove to Missouri right then and proposed. Everything was wrapped up in that smile.

In the years since, I’ve watched John excel in the pastorate, and, more importantly, continue to be the man, the husband, the father that he was. I was incredibly proud of him. I can’t wait to see him again. And right now I’m just crushed. Please pray for the Powells.

We love you John. We’re proud of you.

Only when we see how lost we are, we can find our way again. Only when we bury what’s dead can we experience life again. Only when we lose our religion can we be amazed by grace again.


About Russell Moore

Russell Moore is Editor in Chief of Christianity Today and is the author of the forthcoming book Losing Our Religion: An Altar Call for Evangelical America (Penguin Random House).