LANCASTER, Calif. (KABC) — Family and friends are mourning the loss of a local pastor who died following a car crash on the 14 Freeway in Acton.
As relatives gather outside the home of Pastor Manard Giles, a long embrace helps absorb the shock of losing the father and grandfather they loved and admired.
The 77-year-old was killed early just before 3:30 a.m. Saturday following a wrong-way crash on the northbound 14 Freeway past Escondido Canyon Road.
According to the California Highway Patrol, a suspected drunk driver, later identified as Bradford Pate of Burbank, drove his Toyota Tundra south onto the northbound lanes. Pate’s truck hit Gile’s Chrysler 300 head-on and then rolled over and hit a Ford Econoline van with eight occupants.
Giles was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a pastor at The Answer Community Church of God in Christ in Lancaster.
His passenger, a 47-year-old Lancaster man, was airlifted to an area hospital in critical condition, the CHP said.
Another passenger, an unidentified woman, was transported to a Burbank hospital with major injuries.
The pastor and his two passengers were reportedly on their way back from a church event in San Diego.
“My father was taking some parishoners and members from the church home at 3 a.m. in the morning,” said Benjamin Munnerlyn’s, Giles’ stepson. “A soldier on the battlefield, that’s the only sense I can make out of it.”
Three people inside the van reportedly suffered minor injuries.
The crash shut down all northbound lanes of the 14 Freeway approaching Escondido Canyon Road. All lanes were reopened around 7:30 a.m.
Another driver traveling the wrong way on the 14 Freeway in Agua Dulce caused a multi-car pile-up last Monday. The CHP says drugs or alcohol were a factor in that accident as well.
“Drunk driving ain’t the thing to do,” said Steve Hammond, Giles’ grandson. “I pray for whoever did this.”
“Even though I forgive him, he still has to pay the price because my dad’s life can’t be brought back,” said Rosalyn Harris, Giles’ stepdaughter.
Family members now look to God and each other for support, knowing the guidance they received from their father carries on.
“I thank God for being God,” said Giles son’ Limmie. “God gave me a good father here on Earth as well as the one in heaven, to be a God to me, and show me the way to live.
Pate remains in the hospital with major injuries. Upon his release, he will be arrested for suspicion of drunken driving causing injury. No one else was in the pickup truck.
Rev. Robert Dean (R. D.) Smith was called home to be with his Lord and Savior on June 11, 2013, in Bastrop, Texas, at the age of 78. He was born to George (Boots) and Lillie Mae (Thomas) Smith on Aug. 6, 1934, in Hope, Arkansas. He attended Yerger High School and left to attend the U.S. Air Force in 1951, where he completed his GED. He was honorably discharged in 1955. He was the longtime pastor of the Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church, a Chaplain with the Bastrop Police Department, chairman of the local Bastrop board of the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, a retiree of the Bastrop Federal Correctional Institute, and a member of numerous boards and commissions.
He is survived by: loving wife, Gwen, of 48 years; sons Robert C. of Bastrop, Rory D (Beatrice) of Elgin, David C. (Ella) of Georgetown; daughters Kim Mathis of Dallas, Tereatha Mason of Bastrop; mother Lillie Smith of Arlington; Roscoe C. Smith of Dallas, George (Judy) Smith Jr. and James (Tyrus) Smith of Cedar Hill, Texas, and Jimmy C. Smith of Hope, Ark.; a sister, Gwendolyn Elliby, of Arlington; grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous other family and friends, including the Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church family who will remember his teachings, his love of Isaiah 40, his wit and most of all, his love for all; and the City of Bastrop where he served as Police Chaplain and on numerous boards, commissions and committees.
He is preceded in death by his father and niece Gwendolyn Rochelle Smith.
A wake will be held at the Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church, 507 Toliver Street on Tuesday, June 18, from 6- 8 p.m. with visitation beginning at 2 pm.
Funeral services will be held at the Bastrop Convention Center, 1408 Chestnut on Wednesday, June 19, at noon. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Bastrop.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bastrop County Emergency Food Pantry or the Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church Building Fund.
The Rev. Zebadee Bridges Sr., a force in local pulpits and politics for more than 40 years, died Monday (June 17) at his New Orleans home. He was 87.
The pastor of The Asia Baptist Church from 1961 until he retired in 2006, Dr. Bridges was a former president of the First District Missionary Baptist Association and theInterdenominational Ministerial Alliance, and he was a former member of the Mayor’s Human Relations Committee.
“He was the most powerful preacher I’ve ever been around,” said Norwood Boullt, a longtime Asia Baptist Church worshipper and a member of the fourth generation of his family to attend services there.
“He baptized amd virtually raised me like he was my grandfather,” Boullt said. “He told me always to focus and do the right thing.”
Dr. Bridges also could be counted on to speak out at meetings and news conferences involving New Orleans’ African-American community.
A native of Summit, Miss., who moved to New Orleans in his youth, Dr. Bridges earned bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at Union Baptist College and Theological Seminary.
When he came to The Asia Baptist Church in 1961, the congregation had 45 members and was in financial trouble, according to a Times-Picayune story.
During Dr. Bridges’ 45 years there, membership grew to 750, and he spearheaded the construction of a new church. He bought low-income housing so poor families could move out of the St. Bernard housing complex near the church.
He also organized the church’s day-care center.
“I want people to remember me as a servant,” Dr. Bridges said in a 2006 interview.
“He had a strong passion for helping people, and he was a champion for those who were poor and underprivileged,” said the Rev. Thomas Brown Jr., pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church. “He was a man of principles.”
Dr. Bridges was instrumental in acquiring and renovating the Medard H. Nelson Elementary School for the Union Baptist College and Theological Seminary. He was a former chairman of the seminary’s board of directors.
He also helped rebuild the Rocky Point Missionary Baptist Church in McComb, Miss., after arsonists destroyed it in 1993.
Dr. Bridges was a former member of the boards of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. Inc. and the United Way.
Survivors include his wife, Lorraine Bridges; a son, Zebadee Bridges Jr. of Marrero; two daughters, Juliette Nichols of Los Angeles and Andra Bridges of Summit; a brother, J.P. Leonard of New Orleans; a sister, Mamie Williams of Los Angeles; 12 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
A funeral will be held Monday at 7 p.m. at The Asia Baptist Church, 1400 Sere St. The visitation will start at 2 p.m.
A dismissal service will be held there Tuesday at 8 a.m., followed by a caravan to Summit, where Dr. Bridges’ body will be buried.
Estelle J. Wilson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
by Robert Earl Houston
Today my wife, Jessica, and I went to see my surgeon for my three week check up. We received some fairly good news and I want to share them with you:
a. First the doctor snipped a few of the dissolving stitches which hadn’t fully dissolved. That’s really not that uncommon and it went without any major drama.
b. My doctor is very pleased with the healing of the wound and made the observation that if it were not for my diabetic condition, I’d be a little further down the road. My task it to make sure I drink a lot of water and keep my blood sugar within reasonable numbers.
c. The wound on my foot is due to the removal of flesh down to the fat cells and the replacement of that area from skin and tissue from my hip (transplant). The doctor is pleased and believes that at least 80% of the transplant took, and she performed some debridement to encourage the healing of the area. She explained that the wound had produced protein to protect the portion that was not healing like the other portion. The debridement and the move to a wet/dry dressing – which means that gauze saturated with a saline solution, which will remove and keep the protein from that area, is laid in the wound, covered with a dry wrap, and then covered with an elastic wrap (the same type that’s used on horses coincidentally).
d. The prognosis is VERY GOOD. First, I won’t require a follow-up surgery because of the rejection of the transplant. That is VERY GOOD NEWS because otherwise it would have meant a more serious surgery – which would have meant taking the transplanted tissue out (which has already meshed with my skin in the area area, making a larger area of transplant, and then transplanting even more skin, probably from my left side this time, and then undergoing a few more weeks without being able to walk. Thank God for the prognosis.
So there it is. I have the doctor’s clearance to go back to the pulpit on July 7, 2013 and I can’t wait!!! I’m restricted in moving around for a few weeks more and I’ll find out in a few days when I can fly again.
YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOMED.