RICHMOND, Va. -- In the wake of the sudden and unexpected death of its pastor, City Church opened its doors Friday, offering a safe space for people to come together and mourn.
Dr. Dimitri Bradley was killed Wednesday night when he crashed his SUV on the Downtown Expressway. He was the pastor of City Church -- a ministry with several locations and about 5,000 members.
Friday, people trickled into the sanctuary at the Oakleys Lane location, tearfully embracing and lifting their hands.
"We know a lot of people are going to come with heavy hearts, confused, and that’s okay. That’s understandable. This is the season to do that," said Minister Terrance Jones. "We are here to wrap our arms around everyone."
Minister Terrance Jones said Pastor Bradley was all about bringing people together.
"This is a great family and what pastor brought was a message that entailed unity in Christ," said Jones. "We had six-figure earners at this ministry, college students at this ministry, single parents at this ministry, men and women who were just coming home from prison. People from all walks of life were able to receive from Dr. Bradley and I hope that’s what sticks out. I hope that far covers the accident."
Jones said he would remember Pastor Bradley's ability to relate to people, his loyalty to his family and his ambitious nature.
"He heeded the call of the Lord -- started the church in his living room, and then it went from several storefronts to where you're standing right now," said Jones.
Other church members who came to mourn Friday, had stories of how Pastor Bradley had impacted their lives.
"Yeah I know him, he knew me -- that’s the kind of pastor he was," said Dareal Bullock. "This man is going to be truly missed."
Jones said the church will come together for support and strength and will continue to do God's work.
"We’re going to live in the kingdom of God, we’re going to continue to show other people that they can live in the kingdom of God," said Jones. "And we’re going to continue to prove that God indeed is good."