North Carolina Worship Pastor Who Lost Two Sons In Car Wreck Forgives Truck Driver Who Caused Accident

Eddings

The father of two small children killed in a wreck last weekend celebrated their brief lives Sunday and told more than 800 mourners at Forest Hill Church that he and his wife have forgiven the truck driver who caused the accident.

Gentry Eddings, a worship leader at Forest Hill’s Ballantyne campus, drew both tears and laughter as he shared memories of Dobbs, a happy 2-year-old boy who loved to dance, clap his hands and tap away on anything that could pass for drums, and Reed, a newborn boy delivered during emergency surgery after the four-vehicle wreck north of Wilmington.

Eddings and wife Hadley, who teaches 4-year-olds at Forest Hill, “were able to spend precious moments with him,” the grieving dad said of the baby boy, “holding him in our arms before he went to be with his brother in heaven.”

Sunday’s gathering, which was presided over by senior pastor David Chadwick, was called a celebration, not a funeral, and Eddings told the full house how he and his wife taught Dobbs these words of the 46th Psalm: “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Sometimes, Eddings said, they’d try to get Dobbs to recite the verse for them and he’d be too shy.

But on the day before the accident, as Eddings was preparing to preside over his sister’s beachside wedding, “things were a little hectic,” he said. “It was then that Dobbs’s sweet voice spoke up with a timely reminder. He said, ‘Be still. And know that I am God.’”

But on the day before the accident, as Eddings was preparing to preside over his sister’s beachside wedding, “things were a little hectic,” he said. “It was then that Dobbs’s sweet voice spoke up with a timely reminder. He said, ‘Be still. And know that I am God.’”

Those words from his son not only calmed him and his wife on that wedding day, Eddings said, but Dobbs had “given us the words that would guide us in the storms to come.”

Eddings also said he and his wife have forgiven Matthew Deans, the 28-year-old truck driver from Wilmington who has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor death by vehicle and failure to reduce speed.

“We have, in our hearts, forgiven the man who did this,” he said. “It was not the easiest thing to do, but in some ways it was because we know – Hadley and I – that Jesus Christ has forgiven us our debt. … So in some ways, it was very easy to forgive a man who made an accident.”

Eddings called on the family, friends and other mourners sitting before him to also forgive Deans “and forgive anyone in your life who you hold anything against.”

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SOURCE: The Charlotte Observer
Tim Funk

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