Vigil held for Bronx church members killed in crash

September 21, 2010 3:48:13 AM PDT
A vigil was held Monday night to remember the victims of a tragic car crash that killed six members of a Bronx church.

Dr. Titus McGhie liked it best when the people of his church came together, when they prayed together and sang together.

On Monday night, they filled the aisles, they filled the pews, and there was no empty space.

Even in their sorrow, they found joy where the pastor always did, when they came together.

Stunned by a tragedy that is impossible to understand, the congregation of the Joy Fellowship Christian Assembly did what their pastor would have advised, they turned to their faith.

"This like, this brings people together. It's sad to say but things like this bring people together," said Andrea Murry, a Baychester resident.

It still hasn't set in for church members that their pastor and five other members are dead.

They were all the victims of a tragic car crash over the weekend during an upstate road trip.

"It's really sad, it shakes up the entire community and the members, everybody is in grief now. It's really terrible, the accident, the pastor was a good pastor. It's really, really sad," said Donovan Burnett, a Baychester resident.

The church is mourning, and the congregation, as hard as it is, is trying to move forward.

Dr. Simon White, his wife Zelda, an associate pastor and three others were killed.

The dead were identified as:

Bishop Simon White, 55
Zelda White, 52
Pastor Titus McGhie, 66
Avril Murray, 65
Evelyn Ferguson, 65
Elaine Reid, 65

Eight others were injured.

The group was in a van heading to an event in Schenectady, when a rear tire blew out on the Thruway, sending the vehicle tumbling into the median.

On Gun Hill Road the focus is on prayer, which is the only they can cope with such a loss.

"It's a big loss to this community. It's a family thing. They're from the Caribbean. They're good people. It's sad," Murry said.

Bishop White founded the church in 1998 with 20 members.

It's mostly made up of West Indian immigrants.

The bishop and his wife had eight kids.

Funeral arrangements are still being made.