Harrisonville congregation looks for answers in family’s tragic deaths

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HARRISONVILLE, Mo. -- The Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church in Harrisonville held a special service Sunday to remember five of its members killed in a car accident in Archie, Mo. on July 4.

The victims were Jason Rittermeyer, 32, and his three kids: Noah, 10, Sage, 9 and Anna, 8; and Jason's girlfriend, Aleah Lucas, 22.

"Just last week I sat out in the lobby and talked to Jason talked about getting together and coming to our next church dinner and now obviously that's not ot going to happen," said Pastor Malachi O'Brien.

He said the family's sudden absence has the congregation looking for answers.

"Everybody is asking the question why? And they're really looking for the answer to now what?," he said.

Members used Sunday's service to lean on one another -- trying to find comfort, support, and encouragement through the word of God.

"I have a verse Isaiah 43:1 where it talks about the eagles soaring above the sky and that's the way I picture them.  They're soaring with Christ right now," said church member Bonnie Majors.

Prayers not only went up to the five lives lost, but also to the remaining family members still on earth.

"I just think about a mother and son that are without their family...and know the dad and brothers and sisters are with Christ," Majors said.

Pastor Malachi says even though time will pass, the memory of the Rittermeyers never will be forgotten.

"We definitely won't forget it and we'll let it change us. We let it make us a better church. We let it teach us to love one another better," he said.

The church also collected money for Jonas Rittermeyer, 16, who was not in the car when the deadly accident happened to the rest of his family.

Father, 3 kids, and his girlfriend die in car crash

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