Dana Hertneky, News 9
EDMOND, Oklahoma – A longtime Edmond pastor died after his motorcycle crashed on Covell Road at northbound I-35 Wednesday night.
The crash happened at about 4:50 p.m. Officials first believed the motorcycle rider was a police officer or OHP trooper, but the rider was Pastor Alan Day.
Troopers said Day lost control of his motorcycle because of sand on the roadway and ended up skidding over 100 feet and hitting his head on the pavement. The 62-year-old was transported to OU Medical Center via EagleMed where he passed away from head injuries.
Troopers said Day was wearing a helmet.
Day had been pastor at Edmond's First Baptist Church for 25 years. Wednesday night church members gathered at the church to pray and comfort each other.
"I never saw anyone who loved children and babies more than him. When he did child dedications his favorite part was kissing those babies," said Associate Pastor Keith Hay.
For many in the congregation, Day was the only pastor they knew and to everyone he was a beloved spiritual leader and friend.
"Not only his preaching, but miss the man that he was," said church member Quitman Winter.
It was still a shock for those who came for Wednesday night's service.
"The first thing that comes up is you hope that it just isn't true," said church member Bob Brown.
It's a tragic accident that has shaken the large congregation but not their faith.
"If we could see what he sees we wouldn't bring him back if we could," said Dallas Sheffield, a church member.
Pastor Day had four children and six grandchildren with one more on the way.
"Alan Day was a consummate Baptist statesman. He had a pastor's heart and a servant's spirit, which was demonstrated in his love for his church family and his leadership role in the Edmond community. His warmth and caring were so strong that they sometimes overshadowed his keen theological mind. He was a student of God's Word and an innovative communicator of biblical truth. He was a strong advocate for Oklahoma Baptist University, serving multiple terms as an OBU trustee, and lending us his expertise as a trustee advisor."
"Alan is a respected leader among Southern Baptists, but for those who were blessed to call him friend, he will be most remembered for his exemplary roles of husband, father and grandfather. Our hearts are with Alice and the Day family as they go through a deep valley of sorrow," said Dr. David Whitlock, President of Oklahoma Baptist University, in a statement.
"Oklahoma Baptists and Southern Baptists have lost a dear and precious friend in Dr. Alan Day. To me, Dr. Day embodied the traits that all our pastors and denominational leaders should emulate. He possessed one of the most gifted minds in Southern Baptist life today.
Dr. Day was a faithful shepherd who lovingly served his congregation. Alan was a close friend and avid supporter. He was truly a caring person; always encouraging, always supporting, and always giving wise counsel. He never failed to end our conversations by telling me that he loved me. Our Lord has welcomed home a good and faithful servant," said Dr. Stan Norman, OBU Provost, in another statement.