Trevor Morris poses for a photo with his family. Morris was the pastor of Union Hill Baptist Church and Vice President of Burton Oil Service Operations, and passed away in a plane crash in Tyler, Texas, on Thursday, July 13, 2017. Family and friends remembered him as a man of God who cared deeply about his family and others around him. (Photo courtesy of Tiffani Shelby)
East Texas pastor killed in plane crash near Tyler Pounds Airport remembered as family man Published on Thursday, 13 July 2017 23:38 -
Written by LOUANNA CAMPBELL AND CHELSEA PURGAHN, firstname.lastname@example.org
The East Texas pastor killed in a plane crash early Thursday near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport was a dedicated father of five, man of God and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran.
Here is what he posted on his Facebook page:
Vice president at Burton Oil Service Operations
Pastor at Union Hill Baptist Church
Former Missionary to Ecuador at BMAA Missions
Went to North Garland High School
Lives in Murchison, Texas
Married to Nafisa A. Morris
From Garland, Texas
“He loved his wife, gave God the glory and served Jesus,” said Eric Johnson, Baptist Mission Association of America International Missions Director, who met Trevor Morris through missionary work. “He was a husband, a great friend. He loved to share the message of Christ.”
Morris, lead pastor with Union Hill Baptist Church in Brownsboro, was on board the small twin-engine plane that went down about 8:15 a.m. Thursday.
Morris was the vice president of Burton Oil Service Operations and traveled to Midland frequently for his job. It was where he was headed when the plane went down, said Aaron Greenwood, worship pastor for the church.
The pilot was also killed when the plane crashed in a pasture near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport. The pilot’s name has not been released.
Johnson said he met Morris about eight years ago at Union Hill Baptist Church after being invited to speak there about mission life. They became good friends through church and ministry and stayed in touch often.
He said Morris and his family went to Ecuador in 2012 for mission work, staying two years.
Morris was a dedicated family man who raised goats and loved fishing and hunting, Johnson said.
“Everything he did, he did well,” Johnson said through tears.
He was very proud of his children, a grown son who followed his father’s footsteps in joining the Marines, and four young children, the youngest only 16 months old, who are still at home with Nafisa, his wife of 15 years.
Preston and Christie Burton have been friends with the Morris family for eight years after meeting them at the church and finding out some of their children were close in age. Preston had worked with Morris for about three of those years.
“Everything about his life pointed toward Jesus - it was evident in the way he worked as an employee for me and it was evident to the people we worked for,” Burton said. “We’ve had countless people come to us and ask us the question ‘What’s different about you?’ and the answer is always the same: ‘It’s Christ.’”
“Trevor was a man with great passion to love and serve the Lord first and foremost before anything else. If there was one message he wanted to get out, it was that this life was about God and not us. ... His passion was to get the message to men, to disciple their families, to teach them so that the gospel of Jesus Christ would be shared for generations to come.”
“There will be grief in the loss of him here physically, but we know that it was God’s plan for him to be in heaven,” Preston said, tearing up. “There’s definitely peace in knowing that he is in glory, standing face to face with God.
“He’d be the first to tell you that there’s a sovereign plan that God has for each and every one of us. God called him home. He served his plan,” he added.
Glenda Wallace, who has been church secretary at Union Hill Baptist for the past 20 years, said Morris was an amazing father to his children.
“He was diligent about teaching his children and did a great job educating his children about God,” Wallace said.
She said Morris had been with the church for at least three years before leaving for Ecuador and he returned to the church about a year ago.
“When he came back from the mission field, we needed a pastor again and he decided to apply and we were elated,” Wallace said. “He was a wonderful pastor and person and friend, but he was very gifted in delivering sermons and teaching, just the new details that you wonder, ‘How does he remember all this?’ We’re going to miss him and I don’t know what we’re going to do at this point.”
Emergency crews responded to the plane crash, about 1 mile south of Pleasant Retreat Road, after receiving a report that a small aircraft went down shortly after takeoff.
Tyler Police Department spokesman Don Martin said the wreckage was difficult to locate because there was no smoke or flames coming from the crash area.
“Officers went deep into the fields and eventually located the plane in a pasture,” Martin said.
Fred Wullschleger, a witness to the crash, said he was on a morning walk with his dog when he heard the plane take off.
“I heard the plane rev up and then all the sudden it just quit and then boom, that’s when he hit the ground,” Wullschleger said.
Air traffic to and from the airport was not affected by the incident.
Jesus could not save this great man. Perhaps he was too good for this world and God called him back Home.
UPDATE: Two people are confirmed dead in this crash.
Don Martin with the Tyler Police Department said his department is leaving and that DPS will now work the scene and recover the bodies.
Emergency crews are on scene of downed plane south of Tyler Pounds airport.
Reports of a downed aircraft came in around 8 a.m. Thursday morning.
Searchers found the plane near the Pleasant Retreat center off County Road 1145. The exact location has not been released.
Jenny Wells with the City of Tyler said the the pilot is alive but is stuck in the plane. Tyler Fire Department is working to extricate him.
There are reports of passengers as well, be we do not know how many or their conditions at this time.
No flames were visible when search crews located it.
The plane is a twin-engine private aircraft that crashed shortly after takeoff from Tyler Pounds Airport. According to Lynn Lunsford with the FAA it is a Piper PA-31.
Piper PA-31T1 Cheyenne
Owner/operator: T-210 Holdings LLC
C/n / msn: 31T-8104030
Fatalities: Fatalities: 2 / Occupants: 2
Other fatalities: 0
Airplane damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
Location: near Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, Tyler, TX (TYR/KTYR) - United States of America
Phase: Take off
Departure airport: Tyler Pounds Regional Airport, TX (TYR/KTYR)
The plane crashed shortly after take off due to unknown circumstances. Two occupants sustained fatal injures, according to initial reports.