There has been an outpouring of grief over the tragic suicide of a much loved pastor in North Carolina.
The suicide of 42-year-old Pastor Robert McKeehan on Friday was confirmed to the congregation of his church, Community Bible Church, High Point, by chairman of the elder board Richard Curtis, who said there was "a lot of grief and a lot of numbness".
An online obituary at Cumbyfuneral.com confirms his death although it refrains from detailing that it was a suicide, saying simply that the pastor went to be with the Lord.
Among the comments left on the obituary page was a touching tribute by a Raina Brown who, although describing herself as fairly new to the Community Bible Church family, nonetheless expressed how much she had been touched by Pastor McKeehan.
"I still can't find the words to describe the pain, void, numbness, & shock of having lost Pastor Robert ... I remember his preaching bringing tears to my eyes and my husband's eyes because it was as though he knew exactly what we needed to hear in those moments in our lives ... Pastor Robert will forever live in my heart and he will never be forgotten. I can't wait to one day tell him how much he inspired me to return to my faith," she wrote.
Chris Dolson, senior pastor of Blackhawk Church, Madison, Wisconsin, recalled the impression Pastor McKeehan had made on him, saying he had "enjoyed his insights into leadership and his partnership in the gospel will be missed".
Pastor McKeehan is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, and two children, John and Scarlett. He and the family came to Community Bible Church in November 2010, having previously been lead pastor at Cross Point Church in East Peoria, Illinois.
Pastor Dolson added: "I'm praying for Elizabeth and the children; and for Community Bible Church as a whole. May God speak into the voice of pain, and loss."
A visitation was being held throughout Tuesday and a service of celebration of his life will take place at 3pm on Wednesday at First Wesleyan Church at Providence Place, High Point.
In lieu of flowers, people are being asked to direct their memorials to Community Bible Church in aid of its Capital Campaign and partnership with Parkview Elementary School.