Germantown’s Harvest Church devastated after four members killed in Texas plane crash

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — The congregation of Harvest Church in Germantown, along with the community, continues to mourn the loss of four church members who were killed in a plane crash in south Texas.

On Wednesday morning, the church again opened its doors to the chapel, so elders could lead prayer as parishioners hold onto their faith while they grieve.

“It’s just devastating, absolutely devastating,” said church member Shelley Arthur. “We’re all just crushed. They all are amazing men, Disciples of Christ, leading men to Jesus. It’s just a huge loss, not only for the church, but for the city. They all did such wonderful things for Harvest for different missions around town.”

According to, the men left Memphis around 8 a.m. Tuesday and crashed three hours later in south Texas near Yoakum Municipal Airport - between San Antonio and Houston. Among those killed were elders Bill Garner and Steve Tucker. Garner was the Executive Pastor and Tucker was a pilot and businessman.

“He’s (Garner) a golfer and a dad and just such a well-loved, cherished man,” said Arthur. “He (Tucker) was a very humble, quiet man, who used his wealth to steward things going on in Memphis. He’s a very unassuming man in jeans and a button down and just giving to others that’s what he did best.”

The church identified the other two men killed as Tyler Patterson and Tyler Springer. A fifth man on board, Lead Pastor Kennon Vaughan, survived.

“Kennon is a father of five boys,” said Arthur. “We’re thankful he’s here. And my heart goes out to him, because survivor’s grief. He lost some really good friends.”

According to a Facebook post by Harvest Church on Wednesday morning, Vaughan is recovering after surgery for internal injuries. The church said he’s breathing on his own, and is communicating in writing.

The positive update is provided hope for church members who said they’re leaning on their faith during an unfathomable tragedy.

“We had a meeting last night and the thing that was the greatest takeaway was that it’s not the grief we feel but what we believe, and we all believe that they’re in heaven with our Lord and that should give us great peace,” said Arthur. “I don’t know how people grieve without hope and I would say that there’s a ton of hope and a ton of support and a ton of love in our community. We’re going to continue to love on one another and wrap our hands around these families and wrap our arms around each other and continue to pour into not only the church but the city.”

A preliminary report released Wednesday, Jan. 25 said that the pilot, co-pilot and two passengers were killed in the crash, while one other passenger survived.