Friends mourn pastor fatally struck on Sherman highway while helping others

John Powell's friends said his last moments are a testament to the way he lived his entire life.
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 6:18 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - Police say the man hit and killed by a semi-truck Saturday night was a Houston-area pastor, who had pulled over to help when he saw a fiery crash on Highway 75.

Dr. Russell Moore said he has known John Powell for about 15 years.

Powell was his former student and remained a good friend over time.

“John was everything I would hope that my sons would grow up to be a man of the gospel, a man of character, a man of integrity, and a man who loves his family and other people,” Moore said.

Powell was hit and killed by a semi truck on Highway 75 in Sherman Saturday night.

Police said he had pulled over to help people involved in a separate fiery crash.

“He also had that servant-heartedness, he was always going to be the first one at an event to help set everything up and the last one to be there to tear everything down,” Moore said.

Powell was the pastor at Emmanuel Baptist Church in New Caney, near Houston.

His servant heart showed in his last moments.

Police said Powell saw the semi coming toward him and another man who had also pulled over to help, and pushed the man out of the way, saving his life.

“I’ve heard from hundreds of people and when we’ve talked about the way that John died, giving his life for other people, every single one of them has said you know, I’m not surprised,”Moore said.

Moore said Powell’s loving spirit shone most through his relationship with his wife and family.

“He had such a love for Katherine and for his children that was what we talked about every time I talked to him,” Moore said.

Powell leaves behind four young children.

“Everyone is in shock, everyone is in grief, but no one is surprised that this is the way that John would be serving right up to the end of his earthly life,” Moore said.

A GoFundMe was set up to help his family.

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