Thousands of members from City Church in Richmond, Virginia, are now in mourning after Dimitri Bradley, their lead pastor and founder, was killed in a crash on Interstate 195 Wednesday.
Virginia State Police said the 51-year-old pastor died after he crashed his 2016 Cadillac Escalade near Arthur Ashe Boulevard at about 9:30 p.m., WTVR reported.
“Last night we lost our father, our brother, our friend, and our pastor. The heart of City Church and the Bradley family is heavy and hurting right now, but through it all we trust God. We thank you for your prayers and concerns for us at this very difficult time. We ask that you give the Bradley family privacy and prayer; and we will have more information forthcoming. We love you all,” the church announced on their Facebook page Thursday.
Police investigating the crash suggested the pastor might have been speeding and was not wearing a seat belt at the time of his death.
“The trooper’s preliminary investigation reveals [the Escalade] was traveling west on I-195 when it ran off the left side of the road and struck the guardrail. The Cadillac then went over the guardrail, struck a pole, and overturned in the median,” a Virginia State Police spokesperson told WTVR. “[Bradley] was not wearing his seat belt. He died at the scene.”
Bradley, who began his career in banking, founded city church with his wife, Nicole, in 1998 to reach the lost in their community. The church boasts a congregation of more than 4,000 today, according to their website. Bradley is also the author of U Mad? a book designed to show readers God’s way of helping people overcome and conquer anger.
Ron Carpenter Jr., pastor of the 14,000-member Redemption Bay Area church in San Jose, California, remembered Bradley as a “giant of a man in character and spirit.”
“This is the kind of post that no one ever wants to make. It is with great sadness that I speak to you on behalf of Dr. Dimitri Bradley, who at age 51 was tragically taken from us last night in an automobile accident. Pastor Dimitri pastored City Church in Richmond, Virginia, with other campuses that were spreading all the way to the western parts of the United States,” Carpenter began in a post on Facebook Thursday.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair