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Florida pastor Forrest Pollock and son killed in plane crash May 12


Forrest Pollock

BRANDON, Fla. (BP) — Florida pastor Forrest Pollock and a 13-year-old son were killed May 12 when the single-engine plane Pollock was flying crashed in North Carolina.

Pollock, 44, had been senior pastor of the Tampa-area Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon since 2002.

According to the Citizen-Times in Asheville, N.C., rescue officials confirmed the deaths of Pollock and his son, Preston, who were reported missing after their 5 a.m. takeoff from an airport in Rutherfordton, N.C. The St. Petersburg Times reported that Pollock had flown to North Carolina to see his mother on Mother’s Day. The Times also reported that one of Pollock’s daughters, Brooke, 14, had gone along but had stayed with her grandmother. Pollock planned to stop in Arkansas to pick up a friend before heading to Texas for a preaching engagement.

Debris from the single-engine Piper PA-32-260 was found Tuesday morning by rescuers in a heavily wooded area in the western part of the state, on a ridge north of Cold Mountain in the Shining Rock Wilderness.

Pollock is survived by his wife Dawn and five other children, Courtney, 15; Brooke, 14; Hope, 12; Blake, 10; and Kirk, 8.

At Bell Shoals May 12, about 75 people had gathered for a mid-morning prayer session, reported the Citizen-Times. Web updates on the search flashed on the two large screens in the sanctuary. Shortly before 11 a.m. the screens went dark before associate pastor George Thomasson told the crowd that Pollock and his son were dead.

Pollock was to have been a featured speaker at the Southern Baptist Convention’s June 10-11 annual meeting in Indianapolis. He also had been appointed to serve on the Convention’s Committee on Committees.

In 2006, Pollock nominated Frank Page to serve as SBC president during the annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C., and he was a member of the Resolutions Committee that year.

Pollock also was president of the Large Church Roundtable, a gathering he founded in 1999 for pastors of large churches who meet for fellowship and sharing ideas.

Page, who will conclude his SBC presidency in June, told Baptist Press, “We are deeply grieved and in a state of shock that someone so young, so promising was taken so early.” Heaven is “a richer place today because of the presence of Forrest and Preston Pollock,” Page said.

Page said he had been scheduled to preach at Bell Shoals during the Memorial Day weekend. “I pray that I will be able to speak a word of comfort and direction” to the church’s members, he said.