Opp pastor dies in skiing accidentPublished 12:00am Friday, January 3, 2014
Members of Westview Baptist Church are still trying to recover from the shock of a sudden loss this New Year, after Mission and Discipleship Pastor Johnny Warren was killed in a skiing accident Wednesday afternoon while on vacation in West Virginia.
Thursday, Westview Pastor Gary Miller said it had been a “trying 24 hours” for his church.
“Johnny had a heart for God,” Miller said. “That describes him. He had a heart for this community, and our church hear at Westview.”
Miller said Warren, an Opp native, had been part of Westview’s ministerial team for four years, adding he had a special love for mission work, and planned on embarking on an international trip next month.
“He really had a heart for sharing the Gospel with the nations,” Miller said. “Johnny had served as a missionary in Vietnam several years ago. He and his wife, Amy, were actually planning on going to Haiti in February. They were gong to go and continue their relationship with us from down there.”
Instead, Miller said Warren’s wife and mother returned to Alabama early Thursday in order to begin preparations for his memorial service.
Miller said, while the family is currently busy with the preparations, they will need the love and prayers of the community for a long time to come.
“They just have a lot of people loving on them and ministering to them, bringing food and dropping by, and that sort of thing,” he said. “His family is resting in the fact that God is sovereign in all things, even when it doesn’t make sense. We can trust God always to be faithful to his children.”
Details of Warren’s accident are still sketchy; however, it is believed he died after skiing into a tree.
Miller said only one thing matters now – “We know that he is with Jesus,” he said.
Warren preached his final sermon Sun., Dec. 29.
While details for Warren’s arrangements were incomplete as of press time Thursday, Miller said friends and community members are welcome at Westview.
“We will have our regular service at 10:30 a.m. Sunday,” he said. “We’re going to glorify God and praise the Christ that Johnny loved so much.”
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to Children’s Hope (a ministry of First Baptist Church, Montgomery), International Mission Board and Westview Baptist Church Missions.