0

Pastor dies in wreck

CONYERS - The pastor of a Conyers Vietnamese church died in a two-vehicle wreck Sunday on Ga. Highway 138 at the entrance to the Georgia International Horse Park.

The Rev. Vinh-Tuong T. Do, 40, of Covington was pronounced dead at the scene after the accident where his Honda Odyssey minivan was struck by a Suzuki SUV shortly at about 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Investigators with the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office suspected the wet weather may have contributed to the accident and were continuing their investigation Monday.

According to the RCSO, Do was traveling northbound on Ga. 138 and appeared to lose control just as he was approaching the intersection at Centennial Olympic Parkway. The Suzuki, driven by a 61-year-old woman from Stone Mountain, was traveling southbound and struck Do's vehicle.

The woman was conscious and alert at the time of the accident and transported by ambulance to Grady Memorial Hospital. Authorities attempted to call a medical transport helicopter, but it was grounded due to the poor weather conditions.

The woman was listed in good condition Monday, according to a Grady hospital spokeswoman.

Do's death was a shock to his congregation at the Rockdale Vietnamese Alliance Church at the corner of Flat Shoals and Old Salem roads. Do had left church after a service and many church members were still there when RCSO investigators came by to inform family members of Do's death.

Among those at the church was Do's wife, who is pregnant with their first child, according to Rev. Mike Brewer, pastor of the Rockdale Alliance Church, a sister congregation to Do's church.

Brewer described Do as a dedicated and hard-working pastor for his church. Do and his family became Christians in Vietnam and were persecuted for doing so. He moved to the United States with his family and taught himself English. Do was a pastor at the church for almost five years and succeeded his father, who moved to another Vietnamese church in Stone Mountain.

The church, which also houses Haitian and English-speaking congregations, held a prayer service for Do, who many called "VT," during its regularly scheduled

6 p.m. service, Brewer said.

"I respected and admired VT more than any other pastor that I have ever known. He is the epitome of the heart of the congregation. They just don't make them like him. He puts us all to shame."

Jay Jones can be reached at jay.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.