A York County congregation grieves for pastor killed in crash

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

A York County congregation is grieving the death of its pastor, who was killed in a crash Tuesday night.

The Rev. Reuben Hilliard, 38, served the Gateway Church International in Hellam Township.

Hilliard appeared to lose control around 7:15 p.m. while driving west on East Market Street in Hallam borough, striking a parked car and a pole, according to the York County Coroner's Office. The vehicle overturned in the 400 block of East Market Street, and Hilliard was ejected.

"It is with a heavy heart that we share with you that Pastor Reuben passed away last night in a car accident," the church wrote in a Wednesday Facebook post. "While this is tragic and we don't understand, we know that God is good and our trust is rooted and grounded in Him."

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Members of Gateway Church International's community and others shared their condolences and celebrated Hilliard's life.

"My heart is heavy reading this! Pastor Reuben will be missed. We are praying for Gateway and his family," Tiffany Firestone Hunter said on the post. "Sending our love and prayers."

"It’s so hard to believe you’re gone!! I’m just so so shattered by your passing!! You brought such heart, kindness, passion, warmth and life into this world," Ruth Martini said. "The world is colder without you friend."

Pastor Reuben Hilliard, 38, was identified as the victim of Tuesday night's crash.

"Not only was Reuben Hilliard a Pastor, but an example," Travis Ryan said. "He was the one that really opened my eyes to the reality that we serve a God of the supernatural. I will miss his hugs and quick 'love you brother' whenever we crossed paths."

Hilliard is survived by his wife, Ashley, who will run the church with the support of Keith Yoder, according to the church. A celebration of life is being planned, and the family has requested that the community refrain from visiting or bringing food or gifts to the home.

"As your heart overflows, please direct your love to prayer and celebrating what Pastor Reuben has meant to you, and in your gratefulness, give glory to God."

— Matt Enright can be reached via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.