Members of a Brooklyn congregation are mourning after one of their pastors was fatally struck by a vehicle when she tripped while crossing the street.
The New York Police Department identified the victim as 50-year-old Aracely Courtenay, an assistant pastor and the wife of the senior pastor of Emmanuel Church of God, Bishop Curt E. Courtenay.
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Police said the fatal incident occurred just before 7 p.m. Saturday, according to the New York Post. Courtenay was hit by a 2015 Toyota Highlander driven by a 58-year-old man who stopped at the scene of the crash.
The man involved in the accident has not been charged.
In a statement posted to Facebook on Sunday, the church asked for prayers for the Courtenay family.
“Emmanuel family, it is with a heavy heart that we share with you the untimely and unexpected passing of our beloved Pastor Aracely Courtenay, our first lady,” read the church’s statement. “Family, at this time, we must keep our first family in our prayers.”
The statement continued, “Our bishop, her children Gesai, Curt, Jr., and Kayris will need our prayers and strength even more at this time. We ask that you respectfully give them time to process this news and we will ensure we communicate all needed memorial information to you as a family in due time.”
During Sunday’s worship services, members of the congregation were notably emotional.
Bishop Joe Nathan Boyd, who delivered the Sunday sermon, prayed for comfort for the church members.
“Just for a moment, look at your neighbor and say, ‘I know that your heart is heavy. Your heart and my heart, we can make it,'” he said, adding, “Today, we pray that God satisfies that need to remove things out of the way and cause a hard thing to become easy.”
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