A Texas community is mourning after a pastor’s wife and daughter were killed in a tragic car accident over the weekend.
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Mark McDaniel, 58, pastor of New Hope Community Church in Venus, Texas, was driving Saturday with his 51-year-old wife, Brandi, and 17-year-old daughter, Hannah, when the pastor reportedly lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a guardrail, KDFW-TV reported.
The family was returning from a high school basketball tournament. According to KXAS-TV, some of Hannah’s teammates were following on school buses and witnessed the accident.
Hannah died on the scene while her mother passed away not long after at Scenic Mountain Medical Center, a local hospital. The preacher sustained minor injuries in the collision.
Members and leaders of New Hope Community Church gathered Sunday to pray for the family amid such tremendous loss. The live-streamed service included prayer, Scripture, and music, WFAA-TV reported.
“We are gathered together this morning as a group of wounded healers,” leaders said, according to KDFW-TV. “It’s not a normal day by any means. Each of you have woken up in an altered state of reality. And normal has left the building.”
Church members offered a variety of uplifting comments aimed at bringing peace amid so much pain and uncertainty, with one man noting the importance of building faith.
“We don’t want to turn this into a memorial service,” the man said. “We want it to be a service where we can lean into the Holy Spirit of God and be renewed so that we can then breathe in, breathe out, repeat, and put one foot in front of the other and move forward.”
Pantego Christian Academy, where Hannah attended, also offered condolences and is mourning the loss of one of their own. The school cited John 16:22 in a Facebook post, and proceeded to herald the teen.
“Today, we came together to honor Hannah,” the post read. “She was a beloved member of our school community who left a permanent mark on all of our lives.”
The text continued, “Hannah was more than just a student; she was a friend, a classmate, a teammate and a source of inspiration to those around her. Her infectious laughter, compassionate nature, and unwavering determination made her a shining star within our community.”
The school went on to describe Hannah as being filled with joy, and expressed hope in a future reunification with her in heaven.
“We will meet again and rejoice with you in heaven,” the post concluded, urging the public to pray for the McDaniel family and the community.
Brandi, a middle school teacher at Accommodated Learning Academy, was also mourned by her school, with the institution announcing the tragic loss on its Facebook page.
“We are rejoicing because we know that they are in Heaven with Jesus, but filled with sorrow for the piece of our school that is now missing,” the post reads. “Please surround our students and staff, and the McDaniel family with your prayers and love at this time of grief.”
Please continue to pray for the pastor, his family, and all those impacted.
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