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Faulkner University is confirming that one of its students has died following a weekend car crash while he was en route to preach at an East Alabama church.
The University said Major Sanders, 18, a freshman criminal justice major from Stockbridge, Ga. Major died Sunday morning while he was traveling to Lafayette Church of Christ.
Alabama State Troopers say Sanders' crashed around 9:05am on U.S. 431, approximately 10 miles outside Lafayette. An investigation shows the man, who was not wearing a seatbelt, lost control of his SUV, left the roadway and overturned.
No other cars were involved in the accident and no one else was injured.
"He loved the Gospel and he loved to preach," said Faires Austin, dean of students, in describing Major. "He was well-liked by all the students and loved to make people laugh."
Andrew Itson, campus minister at University Church of Christ, spoke at a devotional service Sunday dedicated to Major. He said Major drove an hour-and-a-half every Sunday to preach at Lafayette, a small congregation near the Alabama-Georgia border.
Sanders had dropped off his brother, Malvin, a senior at Faulkner majoring in Biblical studies, at a church in Opelika Sunday morning, where Malvin helped with the youth group.
"Any time you lose a young person, it is tragic, but especially someone like Major; it leaves a void," Itson said. "Everyone liked Major. You loved him and wanted to be around him. He was both funny and sincere."
Itson hopes Sanders' death will serve as a lesson to young people.
"Sometimes young people think they have so much time to get their lives right," he said. "It's so important to live for the Lord right now."
Austin said students were using their faith to get through this difficult time.
"And from the truth that God has given us, in his word called the Bible," Austin said. "That's when they reach down and get their strength, that's where they get their strength from."
Major was the son of Terry and Lea Sanders. His home church was the Fairview Church of Christ in Stockbridge, Ga.
Funeral arrangements for Major are scheduled. The viewing will be from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday at Cannon Cleveland Funeral Home, 2580 Hwy 42 North, in McDonough, Ga.
The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Eastern time Thursday at McDonough Church of Christ, 400 Lake Dow Road, McDonough, Ga. The telephone number to the church is 770-957-8611.