Father publicly forgives the man who caused a wreck that killed his children

Published: Jun. 1, 2015 at 12:12 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2015 at 12:27 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - More than 800 people came out to Forest Hill Church in south Charlotte to pray and support the Eddings family.

Hadley Eddings, her husband Gentry, and their two year old son Dobbs were all hit by a box truck near Wilmington last weekend.

Dobbs was killed in the wreck. Hadley was 8-months pregnant at the time of the collision and was rushed to the hospital to have an emergency C-Section. The newborn boy, named Reed, died days later in the hospital.

Gentry Eddings, who serves as a worship leader at the Forest Hill Ballantyne campus, spoke fondly of 2-year-old Dobbs who seemed to have a very full life at such a young age.

Dobbs was described as a young child who loved music, and playing the drums. Because of his family's connection to the church, the toddler even knew a few bible verses, according to his father. It was said during the service that Reed, who was born after the wreck, was expected in many ways to be much like his older brother.

In his heartfelt remarks, Gentry Eddings demonstrated courage and grace under pressure, and told the congregation that he and his wife forgive the driver, Matthew Deans, that rammed their vehicle and took the lives of his two sons.

Gentry Eddings said, "We have in our hearts forgiven the man who did this.”

Stacey Martin spoke to reporters after the Sunday Celebration of Life service as a spokesperson with Forest Hill Church. “It can really be hard to forgive someone for something as big as this, the loss of two children,” she said. “They're able to forgive him and hope that anybody in the congregation who is holding a grudge or holding on to unforgiveness is able to forgive.”

Grief in many ways connected to this hardship and been transformed into generosity.

Tangible results from the actions of caring individuals came on a go fund me page.

The original goal was $5,000, but the donations from those touched by this families loss is now into six figures as friends and strangers honor the memories of Reed and his older brother Dobbs.

Elise Fraser is a member of the congregation who was touched by the life of the two year old.

" When he walked into a room, he was radiant with life, and he really loved Jesus," she said.

Dobbs was described during the service by his father as a child who knew bible verses and loved music.

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