(RNS) — Rev. Thomas McKenzie, the rector of a outstanding Anglican congregation in Nashville, and his daughter have been killed in a automobile crash Monday (Aug. 23).
He was 50.
The 2 have been headed to Texas, the primary cease on a visit to New Mexico, when the automobile they have been driving in collided with a tractor-trailer at about 9:50 a.m., according to a neighborhood information report.
“It’s with deep disappointment that I write to tell you that this morning, Thomas and his 22-year-old daughter Ella died in an accident on Interstate 40 west of Nashville,” the Rev. Kenny Benge, affiliate pastor of Church of the Redeemer in Nashville, informed parishioners in an email message.
“They have been driving to Santa Fe, New Mexico the place Ella was to proceed her research at St. John’s Faculty. Thomas was simply starting his well-deserved sabbatical.”
Earlier within the morning, a few half hour earlier than the crash, McKenzie tweeted about his journey. “First day of sabbatical,” he posted. “Driving with my child to New Mexico … In the present day’s aim? Shamrock, Texas.”
McKenzie was the longtime pastor of Church of the Redeemer, an Anglican Church in North America congregation, which he helped discovered after leaving the Episcopal Church. He was well-known in evangelical circles in Nashville, with associates throughout many denominations.
He was the creator of The Anglican Manner and several other different books and was a frequent commentator about motion pictures and present occasions on social media.
I’m on a church committee @redeemernash. We simply voted to distribute $20,000 to assist girls in Afghanistan, earthquake victims in Haiti, and impoverished native youngsters eat more healthy meals. God is nice!
— Thomas McKenzie (@thomasmckenzie) August 19, 2021
Greatest-selling creator Stephen Mansfield had been a part of McKenzie’s congregation for years and counted him as a good friend. He was shocked to listen to of McKenzie’s passing.
“Uncommon are these males or girls who’ve glimpsed God and whose insights rework others ever afterward,” he stated. “They wrestle with their humanity in a method that helps others wrestle with theirs. They offer freely of what they know with contagious pleasure. Thomas was such a soul. And he was my good friend.”
Ed Stetzer, director of the Billy Graham Heart at Wheaton Faculty, was additionally a good friend. He described McKenzie as having “a pointy thoughts and a form coronary heart.”
“He challenged me and so many others — to assume, to like, and to dwell like Christ. He can be missed by many as a result of he saved pointing folks to Jesus,” Stetzer stated. “I keep in mind sitting collectively in Nashville speaking about what it meant to be a vicar — and what it means to be an earthly consultant of Christ. Thomas did that properly, and his loss is deeply felt by many people.”
Russell Moore, a public ethicist at Christianity In the present day, turned associates with McKenzie a number of years in the past and not too long ago visited his church after Moore left the Southern Baptist Conference. Moore stated Mckenzie typically despatched him texts with encouraging messages.
As much as the day earlier than he left on sabbatical, Moore stated McKenzie had been lively on social media, encouraging folks to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19.
“He was all the time actually affirming and inspiring folks no matter their denominational affiliation,” he stated. “We revered him as a result of he had a gravity about him, however he additionally was form and lighthearted.”
After dropping off his daughter in New Mexico, McKenzie and his spouse, Laura, had deliberate to fly to England for a tour of cathedrals there. The tour was a 50th birthday current, McKenzie stated in blog post about his sabbatical. From there he was planning to stroll the Camino de Santiago, a five-hundred-mile pilgrimage that dates to medieval occasions.
“I’m most grateful for Laura’s assist–she’s a tremendous spouse! I’m additionally grateful for our bishop, sacristy, and workers, in addition to my household and associates,” he wrote in his sabbatical notice. “I’m grateful for you, as properly. Church of the Redeemer is such an exquisite group. I ask on your prayers, and can stay up for seeing you upon my return.”
McKenzie is survived by his spouse, Laura, and daughter, Sophie.
“Most merciful God, whose knowledge is past our understanding: deal graciously with those that mourn, particularly Laura and Sophie,” Rev. Benge wrote in his notice to the congregation at Church of the Redeemer. “Encompass them together with your love, that they not be overwhelmed by their loss, however have faith in your goodness, and energy to satisfy the times to come back, by way of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”