Church Sets Up Memorial Fund For Fort Smith Woman Who Died During Flash Flood

FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — One local church has set up a memorial fund for the woman who died after being trapped inside her vehicle during a flash flood.

East Side Baptist Church says with the help of the community it plans to create a new memorial for Debra Stevens that will share her legacy for years to come.

Stevens attended East Side Baptist Church and even taught Sunday school with her mother, Nancy.

The church says it plans to do all it can to support her family during this time.

"How do we care for them and how do I encourage them at this time, and as a church we decided that the best we can do that is to elevate all the expenses that may be coming forward from this with a memory fund," said church Pastor Matthew Bonnett.

Stevens was delivering newspapers early Saturday (Aug. 24) morning when her car was swept away and filled with flash floodwaters. By the time first responders were able to get to her, it was too late.

Bonnett says Stevens lived out her faith and shared it with others throughout her life, and in her last moments.

"Understanding that her hope was found in something bigger than what is in this world and what is in this place is something that not only did she live in but that she taught to so many others well before she was encountered with this particular moment," Bonnett said.

Bonnet says that the primary focus of the memorial fund is to cover funeral costs entirely, but he says any extra will go towards the preschool Sunday school wing at the church in Stevens' honor.

He says his son, as well as many others, loved Stevens dearly.

"Her legacy was to pour into those children and to make sure that they understood that they were loved and they mattered and that Jesus loved them and so we want to make sure that in her passing the legacy that she set forward in so many lives continues on this day and into the future," Bonnett said.

Flowers have been placed at the site of the accident, but if you would like to make a donation to the Debbie Stevens Memorial Fund click here.

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