FORT WORTH, Texas -- Close friends of slain missionary David McDonnall celebrated the life and ministry of their mission-minded classmate in a memorial service held at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where McDonnall once attended, March 23, 2004. Those gathered, including the Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson, mourned over his death, but also shared countless testimonies of his faith.
Erika Wiegand, one of McDonnall’s friends, said she knew him best as Carrie’s best friend, husband and companion in following Christ.
“When they decided to do anything, whenever they would make a decision, they always sought the Lord first and they were a team together,” Wiegand said. “That was such a beautiful thing for me to see.”
“I consider David to be a hero of the faith,” said Brennen Searcy, a doctoral candidate who has ministered with the McDonnalls in Iraq. “However, I remember thinking that before he died in Iraq.”
Searcy described McDonnall as a loving husband in recalling when, during his short-term trip to Iraq, Searcy watched McDonnall serenade his wife with a guitar on their first wedding anniversary.
McKinney said McDonnall’s thoughtful kindness extended beyond his relationship with his wife to how he interacted with a sometimes discouraged seminary student. McKinney recalled how they had every class together his first semester of seminary, which he remembered as a difficult time.
“God knew what I needed,” McKinney said. “God strengthened me through David McDonnall.”
President Paige Patterson closed the service with a sermon from 2 Samuel 15, Matthew 11, and 2 Timothy 4, comparing the love of David to that of the chosen people of the past, who risked all they had for their loving King.