The beloved pastor of a popular Richland church remains at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland after a weekend car wreck left him seriously hurt.
Brent Johnsen, 33, is in intensive care but is “on the mend,” said John Inman, chairman of EastLake Tri-Cities’ church board and a close friend.
The church is setting up a page on its website to post updates on Johnsen’s condition. The page will include a link to make donations to the family. People can visit it at eastlaketricities.com/brentandkylie.
Johnsen and his wife, Kylie, took some friends to Walla Walla on Saturday. On the way home, their SUV hit a semi-truck that had stopped for traffic.
The road — Highway 12 near Touchet — had only recently reopened after another serious wreck around 12:50 p.m.
Johnsen was driving and suffered the worst injuries. One of his passengers, David Magill, has a broken sternum but has been treated and released from the hospital.
Inman said the Walla Walla trip is a perfect example of Brent and Kylie’s warm and welcoming way.
Their passengers included Magill and his wife, who were visiting from out of town, as well as a professor at Northwest University in Kirkland, who was slated to speak at EastLake on Sunday.
“Brent and Kylie were doing what they always do — being fantastic hosts,” Inman said.
The couple, parents to three young children, helped start EastLake about six years ago. The Christian church is designed “for people who typically aren’t into church.”
Known for its open, come-as-you-are vibe, the church often sees congregation numbers of 300 to 400 people on a Sunday.
The church leases the Uptown Theatre in Richland and has helped revive the once-shuttered movie house into an arts and community space.
In the days since the wreck, church members and community members have flooded social media with love and well-wishes for Johnsen and his family.
Many people have shared posts starting with, “I am grateful for Brent and Kylie because ...”
Inman said the support has been special to witness.
“I know Brent and Kylie very well. I know how amazing they are. But sometimes you don’t think about the impact they’re having on a community of people,” he said. “When you see the outpouring of love — it gets at you. It’s beautiful. They’ve had a huge impact in creating a wonderful environment for people to worship in. It fills you with warmth and love.”
To stay up to date on Brent Johnsen’s condition or learn how to help, go online to eastlaketricities.com/brentandkylie.