The car-crash death of the Rev. Willie Boyd Jr., seen here delivering a sermon, unleashed hundreds of expressions of sympathy from CME Church members across the country, as well as people of faith in other denominations. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley/The New Tri-State Defender)

For those who knew the Rev. Willie Boyd Jr., pastor of Greenwood Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, his death in a single-car crash leaves a soul-touching void.

Friends and family are remembering the beloved pastor and youth advocate who died from injuries suffered in a one-vehicle accident Saturday (Oct.8).

Shelby County Sheriff’s investigators responded to a vehicle crash in unincorporated Eads in East Shelby County. Investigators said Boyd’s car slammed into a tree about 7 p.m. on North Reid Hooker Road. 

Boyd, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation is ongoing. 

“We feel the loss very deeply here in Orange Mound,” said Orange Mound Collaborative Group Chair LaTonia Blankenship.

“Pastor Boyd was well-known in this community because he was concerned about what was going on. He was involved and very caring. We are praying for his family and Greenwood CME.”

The Rev. Willie Boyd Jr., his wife, Ebony, and their two sons. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley/The New Tri-State Defender)

Boyd was a native Memphian, who attended White Station High School and LeMoyne-Owen College.

Hundreds of expressions of sympathy have been sent from CME members from across the country, as well people of faith in other denominations on multiple social media platforms.

Dr. Jody Hill, president of Memphis Theological Seminary, posted on the institution’s Facebook page:

“Dear MTS Family, I was so sorry to hear about the tragic automobile accident…that took the life of the Rev. Willie Boyd Jr…On behalf of our entire seminary community, I offer profound condolences for his wife, Ebony, their three young children…and the Greenwood CME Church family. 

“The death of this devoted pastor and gifted leader is indeed an enormous loss to our local community and the good work of the broader Christian Methodist Episcopal Church…”

Hill noted that Boyd had attended both Memphis Theological Seminary and the sister institution, Bethel University in McKenzie, Tennessee.

The Rev. Willie Boyd Jr. and his wife, Ebony Boyd, were at the Lichterman Nature Center with their daughter on Sept. 17, 2022. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley/The New Tri-State Defender)

Final arrangements are:

Friday, Oct. 14, 2022, visitation from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Mt. Pisgah CME Church, 2490 Park Ave., in the Orange Mound Community.

Saturday, Oct. 15, 2022, homegoing service, 11 a.m., at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, 70 N. Bellevue Blvd.

R.S. Lewis and Sons Funeral Home has charge.