Rev. Michael Welch
Yesterday I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of Rev. Michael Welch. He was killed, along with his wife and two children, when a tractor-trailer slammed into the rear of their van. Michael was the pastor of Lafayette United Methodist Church in Lafayette, TN. He was helping to lead the recovery work after the devastating tornado tore through Macon County on Tuesday night.
I knew Michael only a short time. He was a student in a class I taught last month at Saint Paul School of Theology. Michael and his friend Rev. David Hesson travelled from middle Tennessee to Kansas City to take the class as part of their preparation for membership in the Tennessee Conference. Michael was the guy who kept me supplied with a cup of Starbucks coffee each morning. I could also count on him to ask excellent questions and make insightful comments in class. He was a man of warmth and genuine love. He loved God and he loved all people with every ounce of his being. Michael not only believed the gospel of Jesus Christ, he lived it every day. I'm going to miss him.
The tragedy of his death is compounded by the deaths of his wife, Julie, and their two children, Hannah and Jesse.
Please pray for the people of Lafayette United Methodist Church and the community of Lafayette, TN as they grieve the death of the Welch family and the deaths of 14 of their neighbors and friends who died in Tuesday night's storms.
You can read about the tragedy here: Pastor's Work Comes to Unthinkable End
and here: Death of Volunteer Raises Macon's Loss