KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. — A pastor and his wife were killed during a head-on crash in East Knox County Tuesday morning on Mascot Road near Immel Mine Road.
That couple is Ruben and Belinda Wilson of Blaine. Family members said their grandchild in the car survived and is still recovering in the hospital.
Two people in the other car involved in the crash are also recovering in the hospital.
For more than 25 years, Ruben and Belinda Wilson held a church congregation together that was more than just a large group, they were family. Now that they're gone, strangers are stepping up to let the church know they're not alone in such a dark time.
There are no words to describe the amount of sadness the Three Points Baptist Church congregation is experiencing. Dozens gathered for a prayer service Wednesday for the couple at the church.
To many, the Wilson's were more than just another face they saw every Sunday, they truly were family.
"Church is actually a verb, it's action. We're there to support them," said South Knoxville Baptist Church pastor Richard Phipps who lives just a few minutes from the Wilson's church. "We're a small community here but wonderful, wonderful people live here in Mascot."
When the going gets tough, he has a verse he turns to.
"In situations like this, I've always gone back to one verse, be still and know that I am God. This is a time where the church, that family just has to be still."
Phipps plans to infuse his congregation into the mourning church to join them and be with them, "We've canceled our services to pray with them and offer our services any way we can."
Ruben's Bible still sits in the church, along with Belinda's songbook. Pictures and notes line the walls as if they never left.
"As many prayers as we can get we need them...they need them. Just let them know you're there," Phipps said.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office is investigating.