Founding pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, Ed Young, is mourning the death of his firstborn child, daughter LeeBeth Young. She was 34.
The megachurch pastor, who did not share how his daughter died, said in a statement on social media Tuesday that she is “now healed and whole” in God’s presence after passing on Monday night.
“It is with great sadness that I write these words. Last night, our precious and cherished daughter LeeBeth passed away. She was our firstborn, and we celebrate her life,” Young said.
“LeeBeth was a bright, intelligent, strong, creative, witty, and faithful young woman. We love our daughter, and she loved the Lord. Because of her relationship with Jesus, she is now healed and whole in His presence. We ask that you pray for our family, our church, and so many others who loved LeeBeth deeply,” he added.
The death of LeeBeth Young, who previously worked in communications and video for the church, prompted an outpouring of support for Pastor Ed Young and his family on social media from prominent Christian figures such as evangelical Bible teacher Beth Moore and co-founder of Saddleback Church in California, Kay Warren.
“Tears .... so very sorry for the loss of your beloved girl. Standing with you, holding your hearts in ours. Here for your family if we can be strong shoulders to lean on,” Warren replied to Young’s announcement on Twitter.
Other Christian leaders such as Josh Howerton, senior pastor of the multi-site Lakepointe Church in Texas, who said he never met Young before, also shared his condolences.
“I have never met you, but I love you and am grieving with you tonight, Pastor. The Howerton family is praying for you at bedtime tonight, and should there ever be anything a nobody like me could do for you, I would want the privilege,” he wrote.
Natasha Artz, who said she attended youth camp with LeeBeth, said her death left her “heartbroken.”
“This shook me to the core. I am utterly heartbroken and in tears. Fellowship Church has been my home church since a very young age. LeeBeth and I shared the same age and I remember being in youth camp with her. Such a beautiful family and a beautiful legacy they have created. May God grant the Young family his love, strength and peace during such a difficult time. LeeBeth...your smile, your bright personality and the love you shared with others will live on FOREVER,” Artz wrote in response to the news Tuesday.
LeeBeth, the eldest of Pastor Young’s four children, was close to her father and once wrote on Instagram that “he is the most genuine/humble people you will ever meet” and she was “blessed God let me be his daughter!”
In a speech she gave in 2018, she described herself as independent.
“I think the one attribute my mom would say is the most fitting for me would be independence. My mom used to tell me from the moment I learned how to walk and talk, she felt like I was plotting my move out,” LeeBeth said of her mother Lisa.
“She felt like I was ready to have my own life as a little kid. Luckily, I stayed in the home all through college. I didn’t move out too early or anything,” she said.