Family and church community grieve Memphis pastor after sudden death

Published: Oct. 9, 2022 at 3:12 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Family members and the faith community are grieving the death of a Memphis pastor.

Pastor Willie Boyd died Saturday night, in a single-vehicle car accident.

He leaves behind a wife and three small children and the congregation he had been leading for nearly two years.

Sunday morning’s service at Greenwood CME Church was led by the spirit, and by prayer.

“I will tell y’all he had a heart for this church,” said one friend and church member.

“We have understanding Lord God that is it Your plan, even in times like this when we do not understand,” Clarence Scott said during a prayer.

Members of the church came together after the heartbreaking loss.

“I was devastated,” said Assistant Pastor Dr. Tyrone Davis. Such a young man, just 44, I think his birthday’s tomorrow, he’ll be 45.”

Friends say Boyd was a loving leader who faced challenges head-on, and a family man who focused on the positive.

During Sunday’s service, one friend said Boyd was a “perfect example of a classic man, a good dad, and a husband.”

Many of the church pews were empty Sunday, but for those who attended Sunday morning’s service it was a chance to remember the man who Dr. Davis says, brought new into their congregation,

“He was just outgoing and so caring, and so concerned about the congregation, about the community, about his work--his family,” said Davis. “I mean he was just all-consuming.”

Dr. Davis is now emphasizing that now is the time to lean on each other and the word of God.

“We have to make sure the bind is tight that controls and supports {us}, and most importantly we want to support this family,” he said.

A family is hurting. A wife is without her husband, and three young children are without their father.

Pastor Boy’s youngest daughter, who just turned one year old, was baptized just last week. Dr. Davis said the entire church is praying.

“We want to put our arms of protection around her and let her know she’s not alone,” Davis said. That she’s loved, she’s cared for, and not just through the immediate days that are coming, but beyond that time to know that this family is still her family.”

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office hasn’t released the cause of the accident, but it’s under investigation.

MSCS Superintendent Toni Williams released a statement in a tweet.

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