5 Tennessee Elders die in plane crash

by Nathan Natas 64 Replies latest jw friends

  • Nathan Natas
    Nathan Natas

    see: http://www.timesnews.net/article.php?id=9002813 (Kingsport, TN)

    Ministers from 5 East Tennessee Jehovah's Witness congregations aboard plane
    Published 09/02/2007 By Jeff Bobo

    Sunday afternoon state forestry officials were using a bulldozer to clear a path through the Cherokee National Forest on Holston Mountain to the site of a single engine aircraft carrying five ministers that crashed shortly after takeoff from Elizabethton Municipal Airport Saturday morning.

    According to the Carter County Sheriff’s Department the crash occurred between 10 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

    A Beech Bonanza aircraft had reportedly taken off from Hamblen County Saturday morning prior to landing in Elizabethton to pick up a passenger, and was then destined for Virginia Highlands Airport near Abingdon, Va., but never arrived.

    A passing airplane spotted the smoldering wreckage around 7 p.m. Saturday.

    The debris was spotted about a mile and a half down the southern side from the top of the mountain in an very rugged and remote area of Holston Mountain in Carter County.

    A ground search was initiated Saturday night but was stalled by darkness.

    The Carter County Sheriff’s Department said Sunday afternoon that the plane has been found by ground searchers and an attempt was under way to create access and secure the scene until Federal Aviation Administration investigators could arrive.

    There was no official word Sunday afternoon on the number of passengers in the plane or their status.

    The Times-News, however, received information Sunday that there were five passengers in the plane and they were each ministers from a different Jehovah’s Witness congregation in East Tennessee.

    The Times-News will withhold their names pending confirmation of notice to their families.

    According to Church elder Robert Burpitt who contacted the Times-News Sunday, the plane passengers were members of a "Regional Building Committee" which makes decisions regarding Kingdom Hall building projects. They were on their way to Abingdon Saturday morning to meet with congregation members from Lebanon, Va. to discuss building a new church there.

    The ministers were from Chattanooga, Pigeon Forge, Morristown, Elizabethton and Unicoi County.

    Although there was no official word on their status, there was not much hope Saturday that anyone survived.

    Burpitt said the church will be making an official statement about the accident sometime Sunday afternoon.

  • Homerovah the Almighty
    Homerovah the Almighty

    Sad, but goes to show that Jehovah isn't protecting his chosen people after all

  • AlphaOmega

    Thanks for posting this... "Google Alert" hasn't picked up on this yet.

    I can't believe how direct the newspaper's language is !


  • Highlander

    I'm sure the j-dub rumour mill will churn out an urban legend about the day jehovah killed 5 apostate elders that were conspiring to bring down His organization.

  • purplesofa

    Sad news, There are just so many small plane crashes, more and more frequent.

    I feel for the families and all involved. My deepest sympathies


  • changeling

    Wow! Sad.


  • Gretchen956

    Well names may have been withheld so they could notify relatives, but any relative reading that article would probably know immediately by the specific details they provided. Sad.


  • Hortensia

    very sad, those small planes are dangerous. And scary. I'm sorry for them and their families.

  • KW13

    damn, 5 people who were friends probably too, a lot of upset families

  • BluesBrother

    Sad news...we can feel for the families.

    A tragedy is a tragedy, even if we dislike what the believed and practiced

  • skeeter1

    Who owned the plane?


  • jaguarbass

    Sad, but goes to show that Jehovah isn't protecting his chosen people after all Jehober doesnt seem to protect America or US soldiers either. What's up with that? Maybe hes resting or out on vacation in the cosmos.

  • eclipse

    Satan did it they might say....

    but God let him?

    I feel sorry for the families...

    but they will comfort themselves by saying, ''they will be ressurected for sure...''


    This thread is Frigg`n Amazing!!..5 Elders die and you people feel sorry for the familys..If a plane full of Apostates died in a plane crash.There`s not a JW on the planet that would give a shit..In fact,many would enjoy it.....You are all very decent people!...OUTLAW

  • aSphereisnotaCircle
    5 Elders die and you people feel sorry for the familys..If a plane full of Apostates died in a plane crash.There`s not a JW on the planet that would give a shit.

    I was thinking the same thing...

  • Highlander

    Outlaw, you raise a very good point. I think this demonstrates how far along us apostates have come in showing we are caring human beings that show concern for other people despite the religious differences.

  • Mum

    This hits close to home. I used to be in a congregation in the adjacent county. I knew Bob and Marlene Burpitt. (As an aside, Bob was and probably still is a gifted pianist, and, I think a phi beta kappa - and still a dub!?)

    Anyway, I am a bit discombobulated wondering if I knew any of the victims. I'll keep checking the news media in that area to find out. Some of the elders' families were nice folks. What a pity that nice folks can be so deceived.



  • Gregor

    I hope we wouldn't withold our compassion for these guys and their friends and families. That's JW stuff. Who knows, I think it's possible that some day one or more of those five could have been right here on JWD with us.

  • Honesty
    According to Church elder Robert Burpitt who contacted the Times-News Sunday

    I've spent weekends at his home with my ex and probably either know or am acquainted with every one of the men who were killed.

    I feel for their families and can only pray for them.

    Since escaping the cult and its false doctrine of a 'second chance' every time I hear of a JW dying that I once was friends with until they rejected our friendship I can't help but wonder if they called out to Jesus like the man on the cross next to him.

  • stillajwexelder

    Absolutely tragic

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