Congregation honors pastor’s ministry of love after tragic accident

Pastor's son: "If there was nothing else he taught, it was to love."

Adam Thourogood (Photo courtesy

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — On Wednesday, a local congregation mourned the loss of their beloved pastor after a tragic accident. Family members want the message of his ministry to live on in the community.

Adam Thourogood Sr. died during a farming accident in Suffolk, when his tractor flipped over. His son, Aaron Thourogood, told his father wanted to use his ministry to change not only the lives of his flock, but also the community. He said his father’s life had a simple message: “Love.”

Three years ago, Adam Thourogood took on his role as the senior pastor of New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ, after his uncle, Bishop Thourgood, died suddenly while preaching. Adam, with his son Aaron by his side, moved into the new leadership role.

“I was his adjutant. That’s a person who helps out in the ministry to the pastor. So, I helped him. I stuck close to him in the ministry. I was real close to him in the ministry,” Aaron said.

While his father preached, Aaron saw a man whose message went beyond church walls.

“Every Labor Day, we’d have a block party for the community. It was sponsored. No one had to pay for anything. He wanted to give kids back-to-school items so they go back to school with a fresh start a good foundation,” Aaron said.

He said his father wanted the community to grow and tended to it through his ministry the same way he tended to the family farm. When Aaron heard the tragic news Tuesday afternoon, that his father died in a tragic accident there on the family farm, he said his first reaction was anger.

“I began to get angry, because I watched how he served, I watched, he would always tell me to love. I watched the different things that he would do to better himself, to better his family and to better this ministry,” Aaron said. “But then I realized I was comforted because God never makes a mistake, and He never makes a falter.”

Aaron and his family want the community to carry on Pastor Thourogood’s legacy, to preach his one message that he believed would change the world: “That’s what my dad’s goal was, to get our eyes on Jesus and to love. To love. That was his big thing. If there was nothing else he taught, it was to love.”

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