Friends family have been outpouring their love for Forrest Flaniken, the senior vice president of Wycliffe Bible Translators who was killed in a sudden bike crash Sunday, Oct. 14 in Orlando, Fla.
"As I ponder Forrest's death and God's sovereignty, I'm comforted by that fact that this, too, is a day He has made, and I rejoice in what God has done through Forrest's life," wrote Russ Hersman, co-senior vice president of Wycliffe Bible Translators, on the company website.
"Although [the Flanikens] can take comfort in the fact that Forrest is with our loving Heavenly Father, I know they are also feeling an incredible hole in their lives right now," Hersman added, requesting readers offer their prayers for the Flaniken family.
In a separate interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Hersman said that Flaniken was both an admirable businessman and also had "a deep love for the word of God, which brought him into Wycliffe ministries."
"One thing about Forrest is he had a great command for detail. He organized the team and they organized the move of the office to here," Hersman added, referencing Flaniken's crucial role in moving the Wycliffe headquarters from California to Florida in 1999.
Others took to Twitter to express their sadness for the loss of Flaniken, who evidently touched many lives during his 22 years with Wycliffe.
"Surreal day. Grieving with those who grieve. I only knew him from afar but Forrest Flaniken touched many lives," tweeted Karin Tome.
"Sad to hear about the passing of Wycliffe Bible Translators' VP Forrest Flaniken," tweeted K-Love News.
A candlelit vigil was held for Flaniken outside the Avalon Park YMCA on the evening of Oct. 15, an event which friend Kristie Frieze described to WFTV Channel 9 as "a wonderful outpouring of Forrest's life and a reflection of his service in the community."
Flaniken was riding his bike near Avalon Park Boulevard on the afternoon of Oct. 14 when he was struck and killed by an 18-year-old driver suspected by police as being under the influence of drugs.
Flaniken was killed on impact and the suspect, Michael Moffa, was arrested and charged with DUI manslaughter, vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of a crash, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Flaniken worked most recently as the senior vice president for Wycliffe Bible Translators, a nonprofit, nondenominational organization which seeks to deliver the spoken word of Jesus Christ to people around the world.
Previously, he worked as the chief financial officer for Wycliffe USA and chairman of the board of the Wycliffe Foundation. Flaniken helped the company transfer from California to Florida in 1999.
Flaniken, 53, is survived by his wife, three sons, and daughter-in-law.
A public memorial service for Flaniken is planned for Saturday afternoon, Oct. 20 at Aloma Church in Winter Park, Fla.
The Flaniken family is requesting gifts be made to the Forrest Flaniken Memorial Fund at Wycliffe USA.