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Rocky Mount pastor preaches through personal tragedy

Posted May 18, 2014
Updated May 19, 2014

— On a day where others turn to church for healing, Pastor James Gailliard, despite his own personal tragedy, was there to soothe others.

His oldest son, Kyol Gailliard, 27, was among three people killed early Friday morning when their vehicle crashed into a brick building and burst into flames at the intersection of South Grace and Chester streets.

Kyol Gailliard controlled the sound board at Word Tabernacle Church, where his father is the senior pastor.

As the elder Gailliard looked to the balcony while preaching Sunday, it was another painful reminder of what happened just two days earlier.

“(The) Bible says faith comes by hearing, so it doesn't matter how good my message is if nobody can hear it, right?” said James Gailliard, speaking in between one of the four services he does on Sundays. “For the last 14 years, the person I'm looking at is my son. So, this is a huge loss for us as a ministry but especially for me as a father.”

Kyol Gailliard was in the vehicle with Jason Britt and Dennis Battle Jr. – all three were musicians and "PKs," or preachers kids. Relatives and friends of the three men said the vehicle hydroplaned before crashing into the building. Investigators have not said whether the crash, which remains under investigation, is weather related. No other vehicles were involved, police said.

James Gailliard addressed the incident during one of his services.

“I serve a lot of people here and they're going to lose their jobs and they're going to have children die and spouses that leave them and they're going to go through a lot of stuff in life, and when that happens they just have to be faithful,” he said. “So, I thought it was important for me to model the behavior.”


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  • icdumbpeople May 19, 2014

    What a Strong man. So sorry for his loss! These stories hurt my heart....

  • "Screen Name-8/20" May 19, 2014

    I am so sorry for the loved ones of them all, and for this brave father who pushed through his grief to deliver God's message of LOVE!!!

  • Pamela Mincey Jones May 19, 2014
    user avatar

    Now that's my kind of pastor. Sorry for your loss ,but you know where he is. hes an on time GOD.

  • fifefan4life May 19, 2014

    God bless you Pastor James Gailliard! Prayers for all the families and friends. May the Lord give you peace and comfort..

  • luvmyjackrascal May 19, 2014

    So sad - didn't know it was Pastor Gilliard's son. Praying for all the families - let God wrap His arms around them and tell them "it's going to be okay, I'm here."

  • wizakid May 19, 2014

    What a difficult situation. Prayers for all involved.

  • Raleigh32 May 19, 2014

    Prayers with you Pastor Gilliard. (1 Thessalonians 4:13)