JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A family and a congregation are grieving the loss of a pastor struck and killed Wednesday morning by a vehicle that drove away.
Lindsay Brown, a pastor at New Life Evangelistic Center, was struck while crossing Crystal Springs Road near Hammond Boulevard about 7 a.m. The driver who hit him didn’t stop. Police continue asking for the public’s help with any information about the vehicle that struck him.
While Brown’s church was in Arlington, he lived on the Westside, so people all over Jacksonville are mourning his loss.
Bishop Antonio Richardson, senior pastor at New Life, said Brown took a walk at 6 a.m. every day and arrived back home by 7:15. He said Brown was devoted to his family and to his church -- a dedicated father, grandfather and son of God.
Brown had been with New Life Evangelistic Center for 13 years and was ordained three years ago, but he overall had a ministry background that spanned three decades. Brown had a hand in all aspects of the church serving in the youth ministry, marriage ministry, administration and finance department.
“Dedicated, committed, faithful to the ministry,” Bishop Richardson described his friend. “First one to come, last one to leave. And he’s going to be missed.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to react on Sunday morning when I get up to preach, look to my left, and don’t see him,” Richardson said.
Brown leaves behind a wife and kids and had another grandchild on the way. At this time, no funeral arrangements have been made because of the JSO investigation.
This weekend, Richardson said he’ll reminding his congregation of the promises of God.
“I’m reminding them that weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning. I’m reminding them that things may happen, but it’s somehow going to work out for the good.”
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has not released any kind of suspect or vehicle information in Brown’s case.
Jacksonville’s 7th hit-and-run death this year
Brown’s death was the seventh deadly hit-and-run in Duval County this year, and, so far, no arrests have been made in any of them.
In the last five years in Duval County, there have been 55 hit-and-run deaths with arrests made in only 13 cases. That’s a 23% solve rate.
Neighbors told News4Jax the road is very busy and, at times, dangerous. Stephanie Lanning, who lives up the street from a crash site, said it’s been an issue since the city of Jacksonville widened Crystal Springs Road.
“They will drag race down this road!” Lanning said. “They will pass you in the turning lane. They don’t care. They don’t follow the speed limit, heck, they don’t even follow the school speed limit when school lets out.”
Richardson had this message to whoever is responsible: “I’m not a revengeful person, we don’t preach that, we don’t promote that. I’m not angry with the person. I don’t know the circumstances that caused this to happen, but I will say to them, ‘Do the right thing. I want you to turn yourself in allow the authorities to sort things out. I don’t know what happened, but turn yourself in.’ This family needs closure, and that closure will not come to full fruition until someone is brought to justice and they are able to make some sense of what happened.”
Anyone with information on the crash can contact JSO at 904-630-0500 or CrimeStoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.