Hundreds of people gathered at Germantown Baptist Church on Saturday, July 7 for a service celebrating the life of a 15 year old GBC member who inspired a community and a nation. Trey Erwin passed away on July 5th, just a few weeks shy of his 16th birthday, after a four month battle with pancreatic cancer.
“Trey’s story is truly amazing,” said Germantown Baptist Church Senior Pastor Charles A. Fowler. “The Lord took Trey’s faith story and through the power of the Holy Spirit, through social media, and a Twitter hash tag (#prayfortrey), captured the attention of our entire community, much of the nation, and even points around the globe. Through an outpouring of support for Trey and the Erwin family, our community has been transformed into a family.”
Trey’s faith and courage in battling cancer drew people from all across the country to pray for him. “Trey Erwin demonstrated tremendous faith from the very first moment of receiving his cancer diagnosis,” Fowler said. “His opening words in response to the diagnosis were ‘I’ll be okay. I’ll either be healthy here or healthy in heaven.’ What a tremendous demonstration of faith and spiritual maturity for a young man of 15!”
Saturday’s service was a celebration of Trey’s life and featured glow sticks, praise music, and worship. Trey’s favorite scripture passage was James 1:2-3, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” GBC Student Pastor Keith Cochran said some may think that an odd verse to focus on when you’re given the diagnosis of a terminal disease that’s going to take your life in just a matter of months. “You can’t count that all joy,” Cochran said, “unless you know Jesus. There is no joy in that unless you know that this life is just a vapor and you get to spend [eternity] with Jesus.”
Trey’s parents, Jay and Lisa Erwin, want their son to be remembered not as a boy with cancer, but rather a young man who loved Jesus. Jay expressed gratitude for everyone who prayed and helped in so many ways over the past few months. “I’m also very thankful for our church family, Germantown Baptist, and the way the church has ministered to our family as we travelled this road.”
Lisa Erwin said, “Saturday’s service was a moving, God-honoring celebration and we feel compelled to share it with everyone. We hope by making the service available on video Trey can continue to bring glory to God. Just because he’s gone that doesn’t mean his work is done.”
Trey Erwin and his entire family demonstrated great courage in the face of tremendous adversity. They would be the first to tell you their courage and peace was not something they could manufacture on their own. It was a result of their faith in Jesus Christ. If you would like to know more about the love of Jesus and how to have a personal relationship with Him, email us at email@example.com.
John Longworth is the Communications Pastor and Pastor to Senior Adults at Germantown Baptist Church.