Trinity Mennonite Church pastor dies in motorcycle accident

Hal-Shrader-263x300(Mennonite Church USA / TheMennonite) — On Oct. 19, Hal Shrader, lead pastor of Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, Arizona, died in a motorcycle accident outside of Blanding, Utah. Shrader was on a motorcycle trip with his father, JB. His father was not injured.

Shrader spoke to adults at the Mennonite Church USA convention in Kansas City this summer, focusing on the resurrection story in Luke 24. You can watch his full sermon online.

In a statement to members on Tuesday, Oct. 20, Trinity Mennonite Church said, “We know Hal anticipated this motorcycle trip with his dad with great joy. We are all very sad and will be so for a long time. But we know Hal loved Jesus with all his heart and he is now on a greater trip with his Heavenly Father — with great joy.”

Shrader was first drawn to the Anabaptist way of following Jesus when in college he first considered the concept, “What if Jesus was really serious about what he said in the Sermon on the Mount?” He held a Master’s degree in religion from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California, and taught as an adjunct professor at Hope International University’s School of Professional Studies, Fullerton, California. Before moving to Arizona, he served with his wife Chrisie, and two daughters, Mollie and Madison, in Chile for three years. Prior to that he was a student ministries pastor in Ventura County, California, for 10 years.

“This is a terrible loss of a voice that the church will miss,” said Terry Shue, director of leadership development for Mennonite Church USA, who connected with Shrader on many projects. “His articulation of Anabaptism in his sermon at Kansas City is powerful. He was on the cutting edge of many initiatives and a leader in the conference. He was engaged with long-standing Mennonite communities and also pushed the church to become missional in ways that would be very new and different.”

Members of Trinity Mennonite Church will gather this evening for prayer.

“Hal will be greatly missed in Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference,” said Clare Ann Ruth-Heffelbower, executive conference minister for PSMC. “His commitment to Christ and and the church, along with his creative energy, were great gifts to Trinity and to the wider church. We grieve along with his family and the church.”

At this time, Trinity is requesting that people contact them via e-mail: Trinity@TrinityMennonite.com. Cards and condolences can be sent to Trinity Mennonite Church, 4334 W Vista Ave., Glendale, AZ 85301.

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8 thoughts on “Trinity Mennonite Church pastor dies in motorcycle accident

  1. Hal and his family have been long time friends of our mission group! We are so sorry for this great loss to his church, community, and especially his family! We pray that the God of all peace will give His peace that surpasses all understanding and great comfort to all who are grieving his loss! We are greatly comforted that Hal is not in the arms of Jesus, His Savior!

  2. Although I have not seen Hal in say 27 years the impact that he had on my Christian journey in the short time that I knew him was significant. Hal was a group leader in Mexico my senior year of high school and encouraged me to go to PCC, I did decided to go and when I got there he remembered me, introduced me to people and invited me to his Bible study… This is the kind of man if God that he was to help others grow in Christ with open arms! My hugs and prayers go out to his family!

  3. Christine, I am so sorry for your loss. May God send His comforter to your family and may a peace that surpasses all understanding rest on your hearts. If you need anything, and I mean anything today tomorrow or next year please let me know and I will make it happen. God bless you.

  4. May the Lord comfort you. No one can feel your pain but I can relate I was widowed when I was 28 and it was sudden. My sister I am praying for you and what helped me was to think of his smile and when I felt I could not take another breath cause it hurt to much I would think of those special moments when it seemed like God was right there with us and my sister he is … so when tears seem to much think of your husband’s smile and the Lord’s love will come forth.

  5. Dear Christine,
    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family. I am here for you. With Sadness and Sincerity, Kira

  6. Miss Christine, I am so sorry for your loss! I will never forget the first time that you and Hal came to my home. We had such fun and I will always remember Hals’ laugh. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May Hal rest in peace as God’s angels watch over you! I will always be here… Love, Miss Rahimah

  7. Dear Christine

    I am so sorry for your loss. Although I did not know Hal, I knew you and how much you loved him. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

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