Pastor says group involved in bus accident were foundational church members

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) The pastor of Front Street Baptist Church spoke about the members of his congregation who were on the bus that crashed Wednesday afternoon in Jefferson County.

Pastor Tim Stutts drove to Tennessee from North Carolina as soon as he heard the news that 18 members of his congregation were on the bus that closed Interstate 40 Wednesday afternoon.

Stutts described the group of senior adults on the bus as 'foundational and vital' members of his congregation. But through the pain and turmoil of such a tragedy, Stutts is relying on his faith to pull him through.

"How we respond to him (God) is to seek to bring glory and honor in everything we do. And that's what we'll do in the midst of this tragedy," Stutts said.

Stutts added that the group, which goes by the name Young at Heart, is a group that is active in church as well as their community. They sang as a part of choir and regularly visited nursing homes. The thought of the group brought tears to the Pastor Stutts' eyes as he recalled what they mean to him.

"Our church will not be the same from this point forward because we have lost some terrific people. But here's what I know, and here's what the families know; those who's lives were lost in this tragedy are not the ones that we're suffering for. We're suffering for the ones that are left here," Stutts said.

Stutts has visited with the 12 who remain at UT Medical Center. He said they all have asked about the condition of everyone else involved in the accident, before thinking about their own condition.

Spokeswoman for UT Medical Center, Susan Wyatt, said of the 12 who remain, seven are in serious condition, three are in stable condition, and two remain in critical.

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