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Update: Springfield Pastor Dies In Jasper County Crash

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Jasper County, S.C. -

The congregation of the First Baptist Church of Springfield is one member shorter this Sunday.

"He was taken away before we were ready for it," says church member Adam Farabee. "We miss him terribly."

Church members describe the loved one they lost as a father and a mentor.

"He was like a father figure to me. I was looking up to him. He was always there for me," says Joshua Carter.

Senior Pastor Jeff Rollins was killed in a car wreck Saturday evening on SC 119, just across the state border in Jasper County.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says the Ford Ranger he was driving swerved off the road and struck a tree.

Some of his church family says they are still in shock over the accident. Just last week, they celebrated his 25 years of service to their church. Now, they will honor his memory.

 "Knowing that we won't be able to walk in and see him again, that's really the hardest part to me," Kelly Farabee says.

"He really poured so much into us, and just poured God's love into our church," she says. "We're all shocked and grieving, but we can also celebrate, because none of us doubt where he is."

The church sent a phone tree around to inform members of his death. A FaceBook post reads, "With broken hearts we ask for prayer for our church family but especially the family of our own Jeff Rollins."

Church members say they will stand strong, even without a pastor.

"I mean, I think there will definitely be a hole there," Kelly Farabee says, "but I have this hope, and I just know that God's still with us."

Visitation for Jeff Rollins will be held at the church on Tuesday, February 18, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. His funeral will be Wednesday, February 19, at the church at 11 a.m.

Jeff Rollins is survived by his wife, Dorothy Sheppard Rollins, and his four children, Melissa Rollins Jones (Robbie), Rachel Rollins Horton (Justin), Michael Christopher Rollins (Brandi), and Rebecca Hope Rollins; he also had seven grandchildren, Rylan, Jaylee, Melanie, Jincee, Mia, Max, and Jaxson.

His family said: "Jeff was a beloved husband, father, and Papa who served Christ faithfully through his leadership and friendship. He was devoted both to his family and his church family. With his humility and servant hood, Jeff showed us all how a Christian should live. He made a profound impact on his community and world that will be felt for generations to come. He will be missed dearly."

Remembrances may be given to First Baptist Church of Springfield 1435 Hwy. 119 N., Springfield, GA 31329.

 

---Background---

The South Carolina Highway Patrol said a single vehicle crash killed the driver of a Ford Ranger on SC 119 at 5:15 p.m. in Jasper County on Saturday.

Senior Trooper Hannah Wimberly said the driver was traveling north bound, and ran off the side of the road on SC 119/Clyo Road, near the GA. border, struck a tree, and was killed.

The man who died in the single car crash was 55-year-old Jeff Rollins of Springfield. He was the Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Springfield.

 

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