Hundreds Honor Youth Pastor At Funeral

Todd Annis Remembered For Impact On Baker County Youth

GLEN ST. MARY, Fla. - Hundreds of families, students and community members attended the funeral of Baker County Youth Pastor Todd Annis, which was held at the First Baptist Church of Glen St. Mary.

Annis was known for leading the Ignite Student Ministries with his church, First Assembly of God in Macclenny.

Annis was killed Saturday night in a crash on Interstate 10 near Chaffee Road as he and his wife were returning home from watching a football game with some members of his youth group.

The 32-year-old youth pastor's family and friends say he was the kind of man who everybody loved and was always there for them no matter what.

"He definitely touched my life,"said 15-year-old Blake Hygema. "There?s tons of people here today where he made a difference in their lives."

Hygema said Annis gave him the opportunity to begin ministering to people at the City Rescue Mission in Jacksonville.

"Obviously, this is a time of mourning and grief, but it?d be an excellent way of remembering him just by remembering the good times," Hygema said. "His favorite word was 'forward.' He would always want you to keep going."

"At first, I was in total shock. I was like, 'This can?t be true,'" said Charlene Smith, one of Annis' former co-workers.

Smith said she worked with Annis when he was working in the local courthouse, and she said he always had dreams to go into ministry. He also volunteered as the chaplain of the Baker County High School football team.

"That?s outstanding to know that someone like him knew what he was meant to do. The impact that he had on the youth, it?s just outstanding," Smith said.

Members of the youth group said they are ready to continue to the ministry without him, although it will be difficult. They plan on meeting Wednesday evening for the first time without him.

"All of us are still kind of shocked," said Jacob Cater, a member of Annis' church ministry. "It?s probably not going to hit us until tonight when we do our youth group. Pastor Todd taught us how to do it by ourselves. He just taught us how to be leaders."

Annis also was the chaplain for the Baker County High School football team. The team will honor him at Friday night's game.

The scope of Annis' impact was evident at the very end of the service when members of his youth ministry got on stage and sang a song in his honor.

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