GLADEWATER, TX (KLTV) - A church community event turned tragic after an East Texas teen died. Justin Beasley, 18, drowned at Lake Gladewater on Sunday evening. He was a senior at Union Grove High School.
"Justin was one of those kind of guys when he walked in the room, everyone knew Justin was there," said John McGee, a Calvary Baptist Church youth minister.
An outgoing teenager, Beasley lived by faith. His youth minister says Beasley found comfort in his church family - comfort he expressed in a letter.
"A lot of times you will never hear what they have to say," said McGee. "But, when a student stops and takes the time to put in writing what you meant in their life, it's something you will cherish forever - especially in this moment."
It is a moment of grief for those who were touched by the high-schooler.
"He was out doing a joyous thing with people who believed like him," said Inga Davis, the school librarian.
The church was hosting a community-wide outreach program here at lake Gladewater. A church member said Justin had just finished blessing the food when before he headed down to the lake with the lake with his friends. He was walking out to those buoys when the water suddenly got deeper. Justin didn't know how to swim.
"Of course, I didn't know that it was any of our students at the time," said Davis.
Inga Davis was Beasley's librarian, and he was her aid.
"He enjoyed being here at school," said Davis. "He loved the school and I think it was a very important part of his life."
Just weeks away from graduation, Beasley was certified to be a nurses assistant, and Davis says he had a passion for children.
"He talked about his little brothers and sisters a lot," said Davis.
"Justin wanted to help people Justin had a giving heart," said McGee. "If you were hurting, Justin wanted to be a part of the healing process in your life."
He was a teen who will be remembered for the obstacles he overcame and the faith that inspires others.
A tragedy fund has been set up for Justin Beasley at the Texas Bank and Trust in Gladewater.
Meanwhile, funeral services have been arranged for the teenager. A viewing will take place on Friday at Calvary Baptist Church in Gladewater, from 6-8 p.m. His graveside service will be Saturday morning at 10 a.m. at the West Mountain Cemetery.