Jace Smothers, 19-Year-Old Christ in Youth Conference Staffer, Killed in Van Crash

A staffer for one of the nation’s leading youth ministry conference organizations died last month when a van carrying five employees of the organization was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler in Kentucky.

Christ in Youth staffer Jace Smothers, a 19-year-old youth ministry major who just completed his freshman year at Ozark Christian College in Missouri, was killed as a result of the June 28 multi-vehicle crash on I-24 near Paducah, Kentucky, according to local media reports.

Clarksville Now reports that Smothers was helping to lead a Christ in Youth trip at the time the accident occurred.

Christ in Youth, which has been around since 1968, partners with churches nationwide to put on events for pre-teens, middle school and high school students.

In a statement, Christ in Youth said Smothers’ passing marked one of the “saddest days” in the organization’s history and stated that Smothers “exemplified every good quality of a Kingdom worker and he will be missed by many.”

“While serving as a CIY summer Event Staff member, Jace made a profound impact on everyone he came in contact with,” the ministry stated. “Our entire team is heartbroken and have prayed constantly since we heard the news.”

Four other CIY event staffers were in the van and taken to regional hospitals to be treated for injuries.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith