Kyle Engel, youth minister at Hilltop Baptist Church in Berryville, just outside of Frankston, said he distinctly remembers one the last conversations he had with his pastor, Shane Morgan. "He said, 'God's about to do something big.' He said, 'I'm praying everyday. It kind of scares me, Kyle.'"
A similar message he left with his church in a sermon he gave just days ago. "He said something big is about to happen in our community and we need to learn to all pull together," said Paige Krajca, a member of Hilltop.
But neither she, nor her fellow church members thought that big event would come in the way that it did.
Outside of Hilltop Baptist Church, flags slowly waved at half-staff. Inside, members comforted one another and remembered their pastor, Shane Morgan, 34, and his daughter, Kalee, 12--the victims of a fatal car accident.
"He was one of the most anointed men of God when it came to this type of ministry," said Engel. Sheila Daniel said Kalee was a great example for the other children of the church--a sweet and intelligent little girl.
They said the Morgan family was always willing to lend a helping hand. "They've just always, no matter what, outpoured their love to us and their prayers," said Krajca. She said the Morgan family showed her what it means to be a support system and reach out to others.
And it was those lessons of support the congregation is now putting into practice. "We can't focus on how they died," said Engel. "We have to focus on how they were living, and what they lived for, and that was for God and his kingdom."
They found comfort in one another and in scripture. But they are looking ahead to help keep their pastor's vision for a better community alive.
"He had such dreams that this church come together as one body, and I think that is our desire--to continue on the path that he has set before us," said Daniel.