Pastor Patrick Garrett of Journey Church in Murphy is joined in ministry by his wife, Diana, and their daughters, Patience and Lynli. The Garretts were married in 1992, then Patience was born in 2009 and Lynli in 2016.

Fundraiser Saturday to help local pastor and family after car wreck

   Murphy – It could have been much worse.
   Late on a dark July night driving on U.S. 74 near Bryson City, Patrick Garrett and his family didn’t see a big truck in front of them. Their vehicle plowed into the back of it, causing injuries to Garrett; his wife, Diana; and their 8-year-old daughter, Patience. Infant daughter Lynli, only 10 months old, was not hurt.
   To help the family get back on their feet, local contemporary Christian band Effigy will hold a special reunion concert from 4-6 p.m. Saturday under pavilion No. 3 at Konehete Park. Garrett is pastor of Journey Church of God off U.S. 64 West.
   Garrett called it a “bad accident,” totally destroying the vehicle.
   “It was the grace of God who protected us,” he said, giving credit where it’s due. “The brunt of the impact was on Patience’s side of the car. It was a miracle that she didn’t break her leg or sustain other injuries.”
   Diana fractured a femur and injured her neck. She underwent surgery to repair her femur. She was at Mission/Memorial Hospital in Asheville for a little over a week, then underwent rehabilitation. She is getting around with the help of a cane, Garrett said.
   Patience sustained lacerations on her liver and had a bruised lung. She was treated in the pediatric care unit at Mission/Memorial and “is recovering well,” Garrett added.
   Lynli was in her car seat and not injured. Garrett said he sustained bruised ribs and was released the next
morning.
   Garrett said the family was out of commission for about a month, but he is back to preaching at Journey. He has been active in ministry since 1991, serving the Church of God in western North Carolina as a senior pastor, on the youth and discipleship board, and on the state council. He also serves as president of the Cherokee County Ministerial Association.
   “I am excited that Effigy is getting back together, especially for us,” Garrett said. “We are thankful for them. It is good living in Murphy. There is no place like it – people are so concerned and caring.”
   Effigy guitarist Jeff Stevens said members primarily were from MountainView Church, where the band formed in 2008. However, more than a year ago lead singer Chris West became pastor at Shepherd of the Mountains Church, where guitarist Andrew Stewart began helping with the youth group. Stevens’ family also moved to Journey Church.
   Other members of the group over the years include David Brown on drums, Ryan Henry on guitar and vocals, Sam McCoy on bass, Anthony Rose on guitar and bass, plus Roy Bryan and Pav Templeton on multiple instruments. Susan Chiofolo-Kissel, Cindy Coleman, Brandi Rose, Candi Stanley and Rebecca Woodard have sang at different times.
   The group, which released the CD From a Whisper to a Shout in 2013, has performed in several states as well as on mission trips.
   “We’ve joked about having a reunion tour,” Stevens said. “When the pastor and family had the accident, we decided to really do it for a good cause.”
   There is no cost to attend. However, donations will be accepted and appreciated. In addition, food such as hot dogs, popcorn and drinks will be available.
   “Everyone has been excited and is looking forward to [the reunion concert],” Stevens said. “Once word got out, the phones have been ringing off the hook.”
   For details, call Stevens at 828-644-8763.