Georgia pastor reflects on losing four members of his congregation in a DeKalb County fire

A memorial service for Kayla Jackson and three of her children will be held on Monday at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.

Posted: Dec 20, 2019 10:32 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2019 10:39 PM

The news came to Philip Trask like a shockwave on Thursday.

"It's hard to imagine the three lives being taken. It's just beyond comprehension," said Trask.

Pleasant Grove Baptist Church will house the memorial service for Kayla Jackson and three of her children who all died in a fire on Thursday. Pleasant Grove Baptist Church will house the memorial service for Kayla Jackson and three of her children who all died in a fire on Thursday.

Trask is pastor of the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Trenton, Georgia. He said he was simply at a loss when he heard about the tragic fire that killed Kayla Jackson and three of her children at their home in the Flat Rock community in DeKalb County, Alabama.

"At first it was hard to believe. So that's why I rushed out of the house to drive down there, because I thought: that can't be, can't be true," said Trask.

Unfortunately, it was. Now Trask is preparing a sermon to console his congregation on Sunday and a memorial for the family on Monday.

"What can you say to a family who has lost so many? And what can I say to a community, to a congregation who is hurting so much because of the loss that they've experienced? There's no words that I can give. And so I will definitely go to God's word and share with them what Jesus said," said Trask.

He told WAAY 31 News that just last week, members of the congregation delivered Christmas presents for Johnson's children. They were at the church as recently as Wednesday to rehearse for the Christmas cantata planned for this Sunday.

"We'll still be able to celebrate the joy that God is able to give to us and the joy at Christmas time, but the message will change somewhat from all celebration to care for those that are hurting," said Trask.

The memorial service will be held at the church starting at 6 p.m. on Monday.

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