Community mourns loss of Pastor, coach
LAUREL, Del. – An entire community is mourning the loss of a pastor, a coach, and a friend. shawn Willey, a Pastor at Abundant Life Christian Church, was killed in a car crash on Monday in Easton.
“It’s like losing a limb,” one church member, Jeanie Kline, said.
That’s the feeling that’s left after the tragic passing of Pastor Shawn, a man who was known, and loved, by his entire community.
“He was a pastor, he was a friend, he was a leader, and he was a great teacher,” another church member, Janine Betts, said.
But it’s not those titles that people are remembering. It’s the memories, the moments that made Shawn himself, that his loved ones are relying on now.
“He was always funny, always had a smile, always cracked a joke, he was just an amazing person with the biggest heart,” church member Christina Bates said.
“Pastor Shawn, you could walk in and no matter if you came in ten minutes late or early, you always got a hug from him,” Kline added.
But Shawn’s reach extended far beyond just the church, it spread all across Delaware.
“He worked with the football teams, he was a spiritual leader as well as an assistant coach with both Laurel and Woodbridge,” Kline said.
And off the field, Shawn’s work didn’t stop. He spent hours working alongside struggling addicts, helping them and loving them every step of the way.
“His love is what’s going to stand out to me and to the guys the most, he treated all of us, despite our addictions, with dignity,” Phillip Stout, another church member, said.
And so when asked how they’ll begin to move forward, Shawn’s loved ones say they honestly don’t know. What they do know is that Shawn is still with them, guiding them through.
“Hopefully moving forward is bright, I think he’s taught so many of us how to move forward and how to go out in the world and show love,” Bates said.
Woodbridge Football head Coach Jed Bell sent a statement to 47 ABC today saying in part: “Pastor Willey will be missed by many and there is no doubting the lives he positively impacted.”