Long Hollow Baptist Church located in Nashville, Tennessee has been mourning the loss of one of its pastors, Chris Swain. According to Religious News, he died last Thursday after planning to go to a baseball game with his friend, Pastor Robby Gallaty on July 9. Swain took the family dog for a walk, but around 6 pm a neighbor found him lying down near his mailbox.
The neighbor tried performing CPR but was unsuccessful. Swain was later taken to the hospital but never regained consciousness. It was reported that more than 150 people gathered near the hospital to pray for Swain’s recovery.
Ronnie Floyd, Swain’s former pastor in Arkansas and now president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee, also asked his social media followers to pray for Swain.
“What I have witnessed over the past week was the church of Jesus at her best. Loving, serving, weeping, praying, and trusting God with this beloved family,” Floyd told Religion News Service in an email. “I thank God for the leadership of Pastor Robby Gallaty, his wife Kandi, the Long Hollow staff team and the entire church family.”
Gallaty was the last person Swain texted that afternoon. “He was my closest friend in the world,” said Gallaty. “He is part of everything we do. He’s going to leave a huge void, not only for our church but for me as a friend.” Swain’s death has been hard for Gallaty. Over the last 3 years, he’s also lost 4 other close friends including well-known pastors, Jarrid Wilson and Darin Patrick.
Long Hollow, a Southern Baptist congregation of about 6,000 has been experiencing grief for a while now. In 2014, they lost their long-time pastor David Landrith to cancer. This past December, a church member and her young son were murdered in their home.
Swain was a graduate of Liberty University of Lynchburg Virginia, he also served at churches in Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Arkansas. He was an editor at the Nashville-based Lifeway Christian Resources and in 2016 he was hired to help Gallaty run Replicate Ministries, training churches to run discipleship programs. This led to him becoming a pastor at Long Hollow. He was also an author and podcaster, known for co-authoring a book called, Replicate: How to Create a Culture of Disciple-Making Right Where You Are.
Supporters have been sending their condolences to Swain’s family. Former athlete Darrly Strawberry wrote, “So sorry for your loss.. praying for you and your family 🙏🏾.” Another supporter sent a word of encouragement, “Rejoicing for Chris who is now face to face on the presence of Jesus. We continue to pray for you all ❤️.”