An entire church community is hurting after an elderly couple was killed in an accident last week.
But now, after returning home from a mission trip, church members are coming together to remember them.
“Every Sunday, I would come and get a hug," said Blake Partain. "They were my grandparents, basically, since I didn’t have any.”
That’s what 15-year-old Blake Partain has to say about Jimmy and Kay Smith who were killed in a car accident in Owens Cross Roads last week.
But Partain wasn’t home when the accident happened. Instead, he was on a mission trip in Africa, where his pastor had to break the news.
“The accident happened as they were coming home from the nursing home and serving there as they did at that nursing home and at least one or two others," Pastor of First Baptist Church, Tim Verhine, said.
“It took a lot of time to just grasp it since we were far away, and it was hard," said Partain.
And the only reason Partain was able to go on the trip was thanks to the Smiths, who he says gave the church $3,000 just so he could join.
“I never expected them to do that," he said. "I didn’t ask for it.”
But Partain says it’s something he’ll never forget.
“It took our relationship as a church family, and just me and that family, and just took that relationship to a new level," he said.
And the church members who were in Africa said the Smiths would’ve wanted them to stay on their mission trip instead of coming home, so that's what they did.
“Mrs. Kay, we know, would want us to stay and finish out the mission that God set out for us," Verhine said.