Thousands of people mourned the founding pastors of Grace Christian Center on Wednesday.

Terry Whitley, 65, and Jan Whitley, 63, died Oct. 10 in a car crash near Pflugerville.

The crash also killed the evangelical church’s senior associate pastor, Steve Timmerman, 56, who volunteered as a chaplain for Killeen Fire Department.Timmerman’s funeral is at noon today at Grace Christian Center.

Stephen Whitley said his parents felt a calling to God that made them leave their jobs and move to Oklahoma so Terry Whitley could attend Rhema Bible School.

A year later, they founded Grace Christian Center in Killeen.

“They obeyed,” Stephen Whitley said. “If they hadn’t obeyed that day, we wouldn’t be here celebrating their lives.”

The married couple were on their way back to Killeen from a conference in Europe when they died. Timmerman picked them up at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport on Oct. 10.

Their van went off the road on State Highway 130 and flipped, killing all three.

On Wednesday at the Killeen Civic and Conference Center, attendees celebrated their lives in prayer and song. Hundreds held their hands up while singing Terry Whitley’s favorite song “Majesty.”

“God gave us an understanding of what to do next, and that is to continue,” Stephen Whitley said.

Contact Philip Jankowski at or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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