First responders honored at Indianapolis church

Published: .
Updated: .

The Colonial Hills Baptist Church community said "thank you" Sunday to the community, police and medic professionals who responded July 27th to the deadly bus crash on Keystone Avenue.

The bus was returning home from a youth ministry trip in Michigan when it overturned onto Keystone Avenue from I-465. Several teens on board that bus were injured.

Parent Tonya Weindorf was one of three people killed in the crash.

Youth pastor Chad Phelps and his wife Courtney also died. Courtney Phelps was pregnant was the couples' second child.

Sunday's worship service offered this church family the chance to share what they went through. Teenager Olivia Pascoe is still recovering after she was thrown from her seat during the bus crash.

"After I woke up from being knocked out. I was in the most horrible pain of my life. My feet had the weight of the bus crushing them. I called out to God and most of the pain faded away, said Olivia Pascoe.

Olivia's father thanked the dozens of first responders who brought comfort to the crash site.

"I am grateful to the people that assisted her. Several people came and held her hand and just talked to her," said Scott Pascoe.

Pastor Charles Phelps described the moment he realized his church community and son, Chad, were involved in the tragedy: "I picked up my cell phone and I texted my son. Is all OK with the junior bus? Of course, Chad never responded."

Chad Phelps and his wife were Courtney killed in the tragedy. Mother Tonya Weindorf also killed in the bus crash.

"Each of them had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Their earthly death would open a door to eternal life in heaven," said Pastor Charles Phelps.

A tremendous test of faith for this prayerful community that is thankful for the love and prayers from those near and far.

"Thank you for caring for us personally. To our community, thank you for reaching out and for our kindness. But how we thank the lord today for words that have made our sorrow bearable," said Pastor Charles Phelps.

Members of Colonial Baptist Church gave first responders gifts, including bracelets the teens made for their youth group that say "EDGE-strong."