EHS grad, pastor, 30,dies in Texas crash
Joshua Marc Allen, 30, of Las Cruces, N.M., was tragically killed in an accident near the Vinton, Texas, exit Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.
Allen was the son of the Rev. Dan Allen, former pastor at Bible Fellowship Church of Ephrata. He was also a graduate of Ephrata high School.
He was en route to pick up his twin brother at the airport when the accident occurred.
He received his undergraduate degree from Liberty University and two post-graduate degrees, masters of religion and master of divinity, from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary both in Lynchburg, Va. While at Liberty he was a resident assistant. During his seminary years, Josh was the graduate assistant to Dr. Elmer Towns, the co-founder of the university and seminary.
In a recent email to the family, Dr. Towns wrote, “I have had dozens of graduate assistants over the years, but Josh was one of my favorites. I shall miss hearing from him, and I shall miss finding out what he could have done in serving the Lord.”
Josh continued working for Liberty University as an adjunct professor for the School of Religion. Soon after graduating, he moved to Las Cruces, where he became the pastor of Grace Bible Church, a Bible Fellowship denominational church, located at the Bonito Plaza on Missouri Avenue. Josh lovingly shepherded this young fledgling congregation, which more than doubled under his leadership. Josh was a keen and faithful student of the Bible. He was a people person who not only loved people, but enjoyed serving them and would give you the shirt off his back. He was a leader among men, often with those old enough to be his dad. He had a compassionate heart. He loved his congregation and they dearly loved him. Joshua comes from “good stock,” continuing the “family business,” which has included a dozen ministers. “Josh was driven that people would know the Jesus he came to love and serve,” The Rev. Dan Allen, Josh’s father said. “His message was the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That God sent His Son into this world because of our sin. That Jesus died on the cross taking the sins of the world upon Him and rose victoriously the third day, cementing the fact that He had conquered death, sin and Satan. And finally, that the only way one can have their sins forgiven is if they receive the gift of eternal life. This can be done by placing one’s faith and trust in Jesus Christ. For more information about how you can know for sure that when you die you will go to Heaven, please contact the church that Josh pastored – Grace Bible Church, 575-532-1234, or another church which preaches the Gospel.”
Josh was well known and loved throughout Las Cruces, as evidenced by the outpouring of love from friends, neighbors and local businesses. Condolences have poured in from throughout the nation and prayers have been offered internationally. He was known for his sense of humor and down to earth personality. He was emphatic Philadelphia sports fan and often went to games with his family when he was on the east coast or when one of their teams came out west.
Josh is survived by his loving wife of four years: Shelley Allen, and their 9-month-old son: Josiah Allen; his parents: the Rev. Dr. Daniel and Vonnie Allen, of Hatfield, Pa.; two brothers: Matthew and his wife, Marissa Allen, of Lititz and Jason Allen (his twin) and his wife, Annalise, of Las Cruces and one sister: Melinda (Allen) and her husband, Ron Ogbin, Ephrata. His grandfathers: the Revs. Russell T. Allen and Vonely Day preceded him to Heaven. He is also survived by uncles and aunts, cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial was held in the First Baptist Church of Las Cruces on March 3.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made for Shelley and her son, Josiah, at powerofhopeministries.org.
Entrusted to Baca’s Funeral Chapels of Las Cruces and Sunset Crematory. For online condolences, visit bacasfuneralchapelslascruces.com.