Family members and congregants surprise the court as they release forgiveness to the drunk driver responsible for the death of Minnesota Pastor Verlyn Strenge during a hearing that moved a prosecutor to tears.
Minnesota Pastor Killed By Drunk Driver
Last year, Minnesota Pastor Verlyn Strenge was in a car accident that cost his life. David Nelson, the man who crashed into the pastor’s car, was reportedly driving “70 mph and had a blood-alcohol level of 0.267—three times the legal limit.” The late pastor had been preaching at First Baptist Church for many years.
Then recently, during a Nov. 24 hearing, family members and congregants shocked the judge and prosecutor with what they did. Surprisingly, the family chose to forgive the offender and even prayed for his well-being.
Widow And Family Chooses To Forgive
“We forgive you,” Jayme, the late pastor’s daughter, said to the convict. “As hard as it was at first, we want you to know that we have been praying for you for the past year. Because we know your life has been impacted by the biggest mistake of your life.”
Pastor Verlyn’s family then walked up to him and hugged him, affirming that they had truly forgiven him.
“I forgive you, David,” the pastor’s widow, Merry Gale, said while embracing David. “Please forgive yourself.”
His daughter also offered a heartfelt promise: “I’ll be praying for you and your family.”
The Strenge family’s loving gesture moved County Attorney Katy Lorsbach to tears. And Judge Eric Schieferdecker said he had never seen anything like it.
Church Family Forgives
Moreover, according to Inforum.com, the congregants also did the same. A member of the church, Rick Moore, revealed how they have “forgiven so much” at the church. They also proclaimed, “How could we not forgive you?”
David was found guilty of vehicular homicide and will be heading to state prison for three years. But surely, he wouldn’t forget the compassion and kindness the family of the pastor showed him.
What a compelling display of forgiveness rooted in Christ!
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