Brian Walker, pastor of the Bennettsville, South Carolina, First Church of the Nazarene, was killed 15 June when a drunk driver hit him. Walker was helping his friend Andrew Reeser change a tire in the emergency lane of Interstate 20, just outside of Columbia. Walker was 49 years old.
Walker passed at the local hospital shortly after the incident, while Reeser was pronounced dead at the scene.
The incident happened when an inebriated driver crashed into Walker’s and Reeser’s vehicles on the side of the road, pushing the first vehicle into the second vehicle. Three of Walker’s children and his wife, Pattie, were in the vehicle at the time of the accident, though none of them sustained serious injuries. The driver was arrested and charged with two counts of felony DUI resulting in death.
“We sometimes don’t understand how these tragic things happen, especially when we think of how tragic things happen to good people,” South Carolina District Superintendent Samuel Flores told WISTV. “Pastor Brian was a great person.”
Walker had served at the Bennettsville church since 21 April.
“Though he'd been with us only since Easter Sunday, Pastor Brian had found his way deep into our hearts and lives,” Bennettsville Church staff wrote on the church Facebook page. “He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.”
Walker previously pastored churches for 20 years across South Carolina, including churches in Columbia, York, and Winnsboro. He attended Trevecca Nazarene College (now University) in Nashville, Tennessee, and Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri.
He is survived by his wife and their four children, Becca, Isabella, Jake, and Connor.
Prayer is requested for the Walker and Bennettsville church families.