Boyce College students and faculty gathered this morning on the lawn at Southern Seminary to mourn the death of 20-year-old Nick Challies, son of popular evangelical blogger and author, Tim Challies.
Nick Challies collapsed suddenly and died on Tuesday night while playing a game with his sister, fiancée, and several other Boyce College students at a park near the campus of Southern Seminary. Efforts by emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful. Cause of death remains unknown.
The Boyce College and Southern Seminary community was stunned as news began to spread of Challies’ death. Challies was a junior at Southern Seminary’s undergraduate college in the BA to MDiv program. His sister, Abigail, is a freshman at Boyce. Nick was engaged to fellow Boyce student Anna Kathryn “Ryn” Conley. Seminary leaders canceled Wednesday classes at the college.
Tim Challies reported the heartbreaking news in a brief post this morning on his blog: “In all the years I’ve been writing I have never had to type words more difficult, more devastating than these: Yesterday the Lord called my son to himself—my dear son, my sweet son, my kind son, my godly son, my only son.”
In a letter to the seminary community, SBTS President Albert Mohler urged fervent prayer for Nick’s family and friends.
“Nick was an outstanding young man, faithful to Christ, who was also a friend to all,” Mohler said. “He was a much loved and important part of the Boyce College family. We are thankful to have known him, and so very thankful that he came to be a student at Boyce College. He made us all proud. No one saw this coming.
“Our love and prayers and shared experience of shock are transformed into heartbreak for Nick’s sweet parents, Tim and Aileen Challies, and for his sisters, Abigail and Michaela. How can a loving mother and father bear this pain, but by God’s mercy? His sweet sisters are bearing a pain only they can know. We are carrying them all in our hearts.
“In the mystery of God’s infinite kindness, brothers and sisters in Christ know that our earnest prayers and anguished sympathy really do matter to us in a time of grief and trial. They matter to us because we matter to God. We are praying that our love will comfort the Challies family and Ryn as they walk through these days.
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