The Christian community in Charlotte, North Carolina is rallying around Pastor Gentry Eddings and his wife, Hadley, after a tragic car accident left their 2-year old son and newborn baby dead.
Local news station WCNC reported that on Monday, Pastor Gentry, his wife and his son, Dobbs were traveling home to Charlotte in a caravan on Saturday when the vehicle Hadley and Dobbs were riding in was hit by a truck in Wilmington.
Hadley, a preschool teacher who was 8-months pregnant at the time, was rushed to a nearby hospital for an emergency C-Section. Dobbs instantly died in the crash, and the newborn, named Reed, only survived two days after suffering a slight blain breed, according to a spokeswoman from Forest Hill Church, where Gentry serves as pastor.
On Tuesday morning, Forest Hill's senior pastor, David Chadwick, said the grieving couple is expected to be challenged in the coming weeks.
"Gentry and Hadley are beloved by us all... He is a man of enormous integrity. They both possess a deep faith. But it will be challenged in the days and weeks to come like no other time," wrote Chadwick in an email.
"They're going through all the emotions and processing all of this the next minutes, hours and days are going to be exceedingly demanding and difficult for them," he added.
Forest Hill Church member Rachel Jones created a GoFundMe page to help the parents cover medical expenses and other needs. The campaign has already exceeded its goal of $150,000 and raised $168,817 in just three days.
"We were devastated by the news of this accident and decided the best way we could help was to pray but also to take a few minutes to create this account," wrote Jones on GoFundMe. "All funds donated will be given directly to the family to help with their medical expenses. Please continue to cover this family in your prayers!"
WSOC Charlotte reports that police have charged the driver of the truck that killed Dobbs and Reed with a misdemeanor death by vehicle and a charge of failure to wear a seatbelt. He's also been charged with failure to reduce speed in a fatal crash.
Speaking to the congregation on Tuesday, Chadwick stated that Gentry, who was treated for minor wounds and released, is a man who loves his family and the Lord. Chadwick says the hearts of the entire congregation are with the Eddings.
"He is biblically and theologically-trained; I think somehow God had in his mind a call to be upon Gentry to be a pastor one day, for that is what he truly loves to do," he said.
Forest Hills Church spokeswoman Stacey Martin added that the family is seeking comfort in their strong Christian faith as they grieve the loss of their children.
"They don't understand why this is happening but I know they would want God to be glorified in all of this," said Martin.