Troy student in critical condition after fall

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A group of Troy University students are seeking prayer support for one of their fellow students, who remained in critical condition Monday after falling off a cliff during a hike near Huntsville over the weekend.

Ernest Lee Hendrix Jr., a 20-year-old, went hiking on Green Mountain late Saturday afternoon and never came home. He was missing for 16 hours before his parents found him, unconscious, where he had fallen nearly 80 feet from a cliff. His rescue was widely reported on Sunday, and as of Monday afternoon Hendrix remained in critical in a Huntsville Hospital.

“We are encouraging our students to pray,” said Justin Felch, campus minister for Chi Alpha. “We believe that he will have a complete recovery. We are praying that he will have no long-lasting problems from this.”

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Hendrix has been very involved in the Chi Alpha Campus Ministries at Troy University and played lead guitar in their worship band. Hendrix’s small group leader, Sterling Wingard, discovered the news Monday morning and said he was still in shock.

“I’m hoping for a quick recovery,” Wingard said. “At the moment, it’s just a little bit of a shock. I never would have pictured this. It seems surreal. I feel like I’m going to wake up and its not going to be a thing anymore.”

Felch said that Hendrix has been involved in the on-campus ministry since the spring and has been leading worship and participating in a small group.

“Weeks after he started coming to Chi Alpha, he was helping with the worship team,” Wingard said. “He was very excited about getting to serve with us. It breaks my heart that he is in this situation. All I know to do is pray.”

Wingard said that he plans to relay the news to other members of the small group so they can pray for him as a group.

“It’s a scary situation,” Wingard said. “Though he hasn’t been involved with Chi Alpha for a long time, right when he got here, he clicked with everybody. He is a joy to be around. It feels really heavy. He is such a stand up guy. You can always count on him. I love him and I want him to get well soon.”

Felch and Wingard are focusing on prayer and positive thinking in regards to Hendrix.

“Once he is in recovery and is able to receive gifts and visitors, we will give him a package,” Felch said.