Services Set for 5 Jehovah's Witness Elders

By: Brian Gregory Email
By: Brian Gregory Email

Pigeon Forge (WVLT) - A memorial service has been set for the 5 Jehovah's Witness elders killed Saturday in a plane crash.

Craig Clark of Elizabethton, Gerald Booth of Unicoi County
Randall Walp of Chattanooga, Victor Jim Osborne of Morristown, and
Leon Rosko of Pigeon Forge will be remembered Friday, September 7th, at a memorial at the Kingdom Hall in Johnson City.

The church says Osborne was the pilot and owned the plane that crashed.

Friends tell Volunteer TV News, Osborne also routinely offered his services to Angel Flight.

That organization helps offer free flights for charitable and medical needs.

Members of the Kingdom Hall in Pigeon Forge say Rosko was 56 years old. He leaves behind a wife and three children.

The single-engine Beech Bonanza crashed shortly after takeoff Saturday morning on Holston Mountain just after leaving the Elizabethton municipal airport in Carter County.

The crash site wasn't discovered until Sunday night.

Today, all five elders are being remembered.

Stephen McLamb has more.

"He loved the ministry and Jim loved to fly."

Pilot Jim Osborne was one of five Jehovah Witness elders killed in a plane crash on Saturday.

Those close to him say it was like being on pins and needles because the wait was so long to find out what happened.

"You knew the terrain they were having to go over and you want to hope for the best but you fear for the worst," fellow Jehocah's Witness Elder Roy Waite said.

In the end it was the worst as everyone on the plane headed for Virginia died.

"It's been a difficult time to cope with but we have comfort from the Scriptures knowing the Bible's hope of a resurrection," says Jim Ferrell, a Jehovah's Witness elder from Pigeon Forge.

Leon Rosko of Pigeon Forge also perished in the crash.

All were part of a regional building committee that serves to build Kingdom Halls. This crash took the lives of four out of five members on that committee.

"Obviously, it's a tremendous loss but you try and regroup and see if we can keep moving forward," said Waite, who also preaches and works in Morristown.

Ferrell describes Rosko, a retired contractor, as a man who loved the ministry.

"Devoted even while working much of his time to the public ministry locally giving Bible talks here at the Kingdom Hall."

Waite says Osborne was also dedicated to the ministry and flying in service to others in a program called Angel Flights.

"That's been put together by a bunch of pilots where they aid individuals that are in need of medical attention and fly them to all parts of the country as need be," Waite said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are both investigating what caused the crash.

Information from WJHL-TV and the Associated Press was used in this report.


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  • by FREE FROM LIES on May 10, 2010 at 08:27 AM
    People who wants to know the TRUE AND LIVING GOD should NEVER attend this "Occult" meetings,if so HELL awaits you.MY friends were once in this and they have far to many "horror" stories in that "JW" mind control "Occult".I don't if these five guys are in hell or not,but if they believe in this "JW" stuff then I know don't end up where they are.
    • reply
      by Betty on Aug 19, 2011 at 01:10 PM in reply to FREE FROM LIES
      Sounds like you need new friends
  • by David John Location: Tuncurry on Jan 23, 2010 at 02:34 AM
    A very sad day indeed for the Brotherhood worldwide . My love goes out to all the families from myself and I'm sure Tuncurry/Forster NSW Australia Congregations .
  • by Sharon Location: Fort worth,Tx on Sep 9, 2008 at 03:30 PM
    The worldwide brotherhood of Jehovah's Witnesses indeed mourn the loss of any of Jehovah's people. But, we all have the consolation that Jehovah remembers his sheep and will not forget what you do for his name. The families will all be comforted with this knowledge and the visible support of their brothers and sisters who love them.
  • by Laura Location: Wpg.,Mb.,Can. on Nov 22, 2007 at 08:51 PM
    Dear Friends,So sorry to read about the crash and the death of my brothers may jehohah,s promises bring their families and congerations comfort until you see them again
  • by Diana Location: Asheville, NC on Nov 12, 2007 at 05:28 PM
    Dear families, My husband and I still have you all in our thoughts and prayers at this time. Having lost my dad almost 10yrs ago,I can sympathize in some ways with you. Allow yourselves to greive, but not as "the world" for we have confidence in Jehovah' promises, although at times they seem so distant-they will surely come true. Take strength in the fact that our dear brothers were so involved in caring for the flock in such an unselfish manner, and Jehovah will not forget. May you not be overwhelmed with greif and remember the memories you shared with your dear loved ones. Watch videos,listen to recording, look at pictures and remember that as vivid as they appear- Jehovah remembers them down to every detail. May Jehovah be with you all each day until you hold your loved ones again, as I look forward to holding my dad. You are loved by the entire brotherhood.
  • by LUCY RIVERA Location: KISSIMMEE, FL on Sep 27, 2007 at 09:46 PM
    JESUS CRIED TOO....THROW YOUR SORROW ON JEHOVAH OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND HE WILL SUSTAIN ALL OF YOU IN THIS VERY SAD TIME. DEATH IS A TEMPORARY STATE BECAUSE JEHOVAH WILL GIVE THEM BACK TO YOU SOOOOON. AGAPE LOVE.
  • by carol Location: Wareham, Ma on Sep 25, 2007 at 04:49 AM
    I wrote my condolences earlier but this note is to tell you that indeed we have kept the thought of all of you and your personnal plight in mind and prayer as well as all those in our brotherhood who are trying so hard during these critical times to show Jehovah how much we love Him.May He extend His holy spirit to direct you to others in need of encouragement also. Agape love
  • by The Borup Family Location: Spokane WA on Sep 23, 2007 at 08:51 PM
    There aren't enough words or tears to express our deepest sympathy of the pain those poor friends have to endure right now. Please hang in there and rely on the you know and don't know as well as our greatest friend, Jehovah. Our father is saddened by the pain that you have to endure. Much thanks to positive article on this story.
  • by carrie Location: missouri on Sep 19, 2007 at 08:21 PM
    I am so sad to hear of the loss of our dear brothers. I cannot imagine losing 5 brothers from our RBC here. What a tragic loss for all who knew them. Yet even in death they are giving a tremendous witness of Jehovah. We can be assured they are in the book of life. May Jehovah continue to bless their efforts even though they are gone.
  • by Isis Location: Spring Hill, Fla. on Sep 19, 2007 at 12:48 AM
    I just learned about the death of my 5 brothers and my heart is in pain, I can't stop crying. I did not have the pleasure of knowing them, but as Jehovah's Witnesses,we are all part of a great association of brothers, a big family around the world sharing the same believes, feelings and true love for one another. When one of us is in pain, we are all in pain. I send my sympathies to the family members, friends, brothers and sisters that served with my brothers. May Jehovah give you all strength to overcome this difficult moment. I want to comfort you with the words cited in the Bible on Revelation 21:4 and John 5:28,29 May Jehovah God bless you all. I will keep you in my prayers. I send you all my love.

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