Firefighters lined the walls of Grace Christian Center’s sanctuary Thursday to pay respects to Steve Timmerman, a Killeen fire chaplain who died last week.

Timmerman, 56, was killed Oct. 10 in a car crash after the van he was driving left the roadway on State Highway 130 in Pflugerville.

The crash also killed Jan Whitley, 63, and Terry Whitley, 65. All three were pastors at Grace Christian Center.

Killeen Fire Chief Jerry Gardner said during the funeral service Timmerman served his community and the fire department with pride, noting that Timmerman helped many firefighters and paramedics cope after witnessing traumatic events.

“I’ve had paramedics tell me ‘I didn’t know if I could finish my shift if it wasn’t for Pastor Steve,’” Gardner said.

Killeen Mayor Dan Corbin read a proclamation during the service declaring Oct. 17 “Steven John Timmerman Day,” drawing raucous applause from the hundreds who attended the funeral.

Fire departments from Temple, Belton, Harker Heights and Copperas Cove and the Southwest Bell County Volunteer Fire Department lent manpower and fire trucks to the city Thursday so more Killeen firefighters could attend Timmerman’s funeral.

Timmerman began volunteering as a chaplain for the Killeen Fire Department in 2002.

His service as a pastor at Grace Christian Center began in 1999.

“In my 31 years as a firefighter and a fire chief, I don’t know too many individuals prouder to wear the uniform than Pastor Steve,” Gardner said.

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

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