Church of West Tennessee mourns over death of youth minister from COVID-19

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BOLIVAR, Tenn. — A church in Bolivar heals after losing its youth minister to COVID-19.

Church members at the Dixie Hills Baptist Church in Bolivar said that while their minister Wes Depew has passed away, his legacy lives on.

“He was very musically gifted. He played guitar on our worship team here at church almost every Sunday,” said Ellen Cone, children’s minister and church secretary.

On Sundays, you’ll find Depew playing his guitar before the service. Not only was he passionate about music, but Cone said he spent years dedicating his life to helping teenagers, serving as youth minister.

“He just liked to make people laugh. He was mad. You know, as a man of almost 62, he was cutting like teenagers,” Cone said.

Cone said in mid-October that Depew had done what he loved to do and took his children to their annual youth retreat, not knowing it would be his last.

“They came back on a Thursday, and then that Thursday night he just felt like he had a bad cold,” Cone said. “Congestion and all. Over the weekend he knew it was probably COVID. So it was tested over the weekend and it was.

Cone said Depew’s conditions ultimately put him in intensive care. Although he was physically alone in a room, Cone said he was never truly alone as church members prayed for him outside his hospital.

“We come to pray for our dear Christian brother. We come to pray for Wes. The most important thing for us is just to come together in prayer,” Cone said.

Cone said they prayed with and for Depew until his last breath on Sunday.

“Our prayers through this were that God get the glory. Anyway, if the Lord saw to heal Wes, on this side of heaven then wonderful. But if not, then we know the Lord had other plans,” Cone said.

Cone said while his family grieved, they found peace knowing that Depew had touched so many lives.

A GoFundMe page is created for the family and in two days they have already raised over $11,000.

“He wouldn’t want us to be sad. He was always happy. And we don’t want him to come back here because we know he’s where he’s supposed to be,” Cone said.

Church members said his funeral will be held this weekend in his hometown of Kingsport, Tennessee.

Find the Wes Depew Gofundme page here.

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