CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Midlothian’s Journey Christian Church transformed a place of worship, into superhero celebration headquarters Friday night, for a Chesterfield four-year-old who died unexpectedly in his sleep Wednesday.
Mason Alexander Newton died after complications from a respiratory illness.
“He was always wearing a superhero costume at church, at the bus stop in the morning with his pajamas he’d have a cape and he’s just flying around and he would just light others up,” said Jennifer Moore, Director for Children’s Ministries at Journey Christian Church.
Friends and family say Mason could light up a room with his infectious laugh and was the envy of every girl for his long eyelashes.
“He was like a little celebrity to us,” said Moore.
It was his love for his church and his pre-school environment known as Waumba Land at Journey Christian that neighbor, and Youth Ministries Director, Jennifer Moore says was special.
“We’d always ask the kids who wants to be your friend forever? And, Mason was the first one to jump up with his little superhero stance and say, Jesus wants to be my friend forever!” said Moore.
Moore is confident Mason was met by his “forever friend” this week.
“As a mom and dad, Robbie and Chrissy know, they are assured, that his friend that he talked about, that he would have forever, Jesus, they know exactly where Mason is right now because he had that in his heart,” said Moore.
Mason fell asleep in his mother’s arms Tuesday night after being treated for a viral illness. He never woke up.
“The memory of Mason will live on and we will have succeeded through God enabling other preschoolers to have the same experience and it’s because of what his parents have chosen to do,” said Moore. The Newton family chose to give back to the Mason’s favorite Sunday spot.
Through the “Making Memories for Mason” GoFundMe account, money raised will go toward the expansion of Waumba Land.
“Mason’s memory is going to be intertwined in everything that we do when we are moving forward with our plans and construction with our new building,” said Kat Thompson, Director of UpStreet Children’s Ministries for Journey Christian Church. “His sweet little sister Abigail is going to be able to walk into this environment and know that little pieces of this has Mason entangled all in it,” Added Thompson.
The fund asks that anyone wishing to make donations to the family to give to the church's Waumba Land program in order to "provide funding for the materials and resources to allow other children Mason's age to enjoy & benefit from the program."
"I am just humbled by our community. Those who don’t know him, I just want to say thank you for opening your hearts and being so generous in such a time of sadness,” said Moore.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Commonwealth Chapel which is the former Journey campus, located at 3505 Old Hundred Road South in Midlothian.
The Newton’s church family wants them to feel Mason all around them the moment they walk into the service.
“The goal is when they walk in they see Mason’s face, that mason’s name is remembered. That he is not forgotten and always live with them and be a part of our community,” said Thompson.
“He has made an imprint on all of our hearts more than we ever would on his own heart,” said Moore.