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Illinois church mission team suffers fatal car accident in Arizona

MCLEANSBORO, Ill. (BP) – A funeral is set for Friday (Nov. 17) in McLeansboro for Randy Stover, a retired contractor who was killed in a one-car crash Nov. 9 in Phoenix, Ariz., that involved a mission team from Ten Mile Church in McLeansboro. Three others were seriously injured and remain hospitalized in Arizona pending more surgeries.

A team of seven was enroute to Sonora, Mexico, along with a team from Foothills Baptist Church Phoenix to build a house for a needy family.

“[Stover] was excited to take our team from here and help,” said Ten Mile Pastor Jacob Gray, “to bless them and show them that they’re loved.”

The trip was Stover’s 10th mission trip in a long ministry of service.

“He just had a heart for the Lord … had a heart for missions … just could help anyone,” Gray said. Stover had previously volunteered with teams to build houses in Mexico and Nicaragua.

Stover, 65, had a medical emergency while driving, which led to the rollover crash. The injured victims were in the car with him. A second vehicle carrying the rest of the team was not involved in the collision. Gray solicited prayer for the hospitalized team members “in the days and weeks ahead.”

Stover and his family were members of Foothills Church when they lived in Phoenix. Foothills had conducted several house-building trips to the community in Mexico, and Stover facilitated joint mission projects between the Arizona church and Ten Mile Church.

After the fatal accident, a different team at the would-be worksite in Mexico laid a cement stone with a Spanish inscription in memory of Stover.

Sine the accident, Foothills church members have been caring for the Illinois families who traveled to Phoenix to attend their injured loved ones.

Visitation is set for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Ten Mile Baptist Church, with the service to follow at 3 p.m. Interment will be in the Stover family plot at the cemetery across the street from the church.

With additional reporting by WSIL, KPHO.

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  • Illinois Baptist staff