The church planting community is mourning the loss of church planter Clint Clifton of the North American Mission Board, who died in a plane crash in Georgia last Thursday. He was 43.
NAMB President Kevin Ezell informed NAMB and Send Network staff and missionaries in an email that Clifton died after his personal plane crashed in north Georgia on Thursday evening. The accident, however, was not reported until Friday morning.
“God generously gifted Clint in so many ways. He had a pastor’s heart and was a talented church planter with a passion for reaching people for Christ. He loved what we do here at NAMB and poured his heart and life into it. We miss him already, and he leaves a void that can’t be filled,” Ezell wrote, according to Dawson County News.
“As we pray for and encourage Clint’s family and closest friends, let’s all take care of each other as we walk through the grief and shock of this moment. Nothing can prepare you for news like this, but we have a Savior who will carry us and sustain us in the days ahead.”
“Our team is stunned by this loss,” Trevin Wax, NAMB Vice President for Research and Resource Development, said. “Clint was a gifted leader who loved pouring his life into mentoring and resourcing church planters. His passion for the kingdom was always on display, and he devoted ceaseless energies into seeing pastors strengthened and equipped for mission.”
As reported by The Christian Post, Clifton served as an elder at Pillar Church in Dumfries, Virginia, after he planted the church. He has previously served in several ministry positions across the Southeast.
Clifton was also the host of the New Churches Podcast, a show that “offers practical answers to your real ministry questions.” In November, he announced on Instagram that he was preparing to release his next book, How to Start a Residency. The book would have answered “nine practical questions about turning everyday members into ministry leaders.”
Colby Garman, the teaching pastor of Pillar Church, told members in a letter that Clifton’s death brings a “tidal wave of sorrow” to his family and the church.
“There are not adequate words to express the feeling of loss that they have experienced. In addition to being a great pastor, he was a better husband and father,” he wrote.
“We share in the sorrow and loss with them not only because in Christ we have been made family together but also because of the powerful and practical impact Clint’s life has had on all of us. He was a special person that we are going to miss so deeply. It is impossible to imagine Pillar Church without his unique passion and joyful presence.”
Clifton is survived by his wife, Jennifer, and their five children.
Photo courtesy: ©Eva Darron/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.