Bronx Church Members Mourn Together

A special service was held for members who died in weekend crash.

By DeMarco Morgan
|  Tuesday, Sep 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 AM EDT
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Bronx Church Members Mourn Together

NBCNewYork

Scene of the weekend crash that killed several church members from the Bronx.

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Inside a small church in the Williamsbridge section of the Bronx, a community mourns with heavy hearts.

A place barely even big enough to hold the large number of people that came out Monday night to mourn the death of six members belonging to another small storefront church just steps away, the Joy Fellowship Christian Assembly Church.

"It's just heartbreaking," said Sandra Mattis of the Bronx.  "Why so many?"

There was a standing ovation for Robert Reid, the man who lost his mother, aunt and his uncle, Bishop Simon White.

All three died in a horrific crash over the weekend along with three other church members including the pastor's wife.  The rear tire on their van blew out causing it to flip several times near the Woodbury exit on the New York State Thruway.

"Bad things happen to good people," said Reid.  "But I trust in the Lord with all my heart."

Nine of the passengers were thrown out of the van.

Only two of them were wearing seatbelts.

The members were all heading upstate to celebrate with Reid at his church's banquet in Schenectady.

"We were waiting for them to arrive when we got the call," Reid said.

Religious leaders from all faiths, along with a list of dignitaries, prayed for a speedy recovery for those still in the hospital.

At one point, a speaker at the vigil called out the names of the surviving church members.

"We will go on," said Reid.

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