- Associated Press - Monday, June 23, 2014

SIDNEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A 53-year-old pastor of a western Michigan church was found dead in his car that was submerged in a Montcalm County lake.

Sheriff’s deputies found Kurt Allen Hoffman’s body Sunday after someone spotted the vehicle in about 6 feet of water and roughly 30 feet from the road, , The Grand Rapids Press reported (https://bit.ly/UA1ti4) Monday.

Authorities believe Hoffman failed to negotiate a curve on a road, struck a fallen tree and veered into Lampman Lake at a high speed. The lake is about 35 miles northeast of Grand Rapids.

Area police received an advisory late Saturday morning to look out for Hoffman’s car after he had not been seen by family for a few hours.

Hoffman was pastor at Trinity Church in nearby Stanton. The congregation was gathered Sunday for services when sheriff’s officials informed them of his death, according to the newspaper.

“His heart is for our community, not just for our church,” said Mark Edwards, the church’s administrative pastor.

Hoffman served as youth pastor for several years and later worked with family ministries before becoming lead pastor.

He is survived by his wife, Brenda, two sons, a daughter-in-law and one grandchild. Funeral arrangements were pending.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press, https://www.mlive.com/grand-rapids

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