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Florida Baptist volunteer, 22, among Swissair crash victims

BRANDON, Fla. (BP)–Florida Baptist Jonathan Wilson, 22, was one of the 229 people killed when Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia, Canada, Sept. 2. There were no survivors.
Wilson, a member of Crosstown Community Church in Brandon, was traveling to Switzerland for a short-term mission project in association with the evangelical organization Youth With A Mission.
A National Merit semifinalist and graduate of Bloomingdale High School in Brandon, Wilson was active in Crosstown church’s singles’ organization, Cornerstone.
He was the oldest child of evangelist Tim Wilson and his wife, Judy. Tim Wilson is the founding pastor of Crosstown (formerly Calvary Baptist Church) and former senior pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon. He has been a full-time evangelist for two years and currently is working with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association in preparation for Graham’s upcoming crusade in Tampa.
“We appreciate all the love and support our friends and community have shown to our family,” the Wilsons said in a prepared statement. “We appreciate the continued prayers of our community.”
The airplane crashed approximately 90 minutes after takeoff from New York’s Kennedy International Airport on its way to Geneva, Switzerland.
After the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit, he turned the plane back to make an emergency landing at the nearest airport at Halifax, Nova Scotia. The plane, however, disappeared from radar screens about 30 minutes from the airport.
The passengers were from various walks of life, including vacationers, executives, scientists and several United Nations employees. There were reportedly 132 Americans on the flight, as well as Swiss and French citizens.
Several of the victims’ families have traveled to Nova Scotia to be near the crash site. Swissair provided $20,000 per family to cover travel expenses there.
Tisha Hudson, an administrator for Crosstown church, said the Wilsons plan to remain in Tampa for the immediate future.