A 70-year-old retired pastor from Alabama was found alive after being lost in the woods for three days, much to the relief of his family and congregation.
The Rev. Sid Burgess of Edgewood Presbyterian Church was reported missing last week after he failed to return from a hike at White Creek Falls in Double Springs, Christian Post reported.
The pastor's aunt, Kay Burgess, first sounded the alarm in a desperate appeal posted to Facebook.
"Please pray for my nephew, Rev Sid Burgess, who went on a day hike in Ala on Saturday and has not been heard from since," she wrote. "Pray for his safety and that he will be returned to his wife, Melissa, their children and his Sister, Marthanna Brown very soon."
An intense search was launched and Burgess’ car was found at the Randolph Trailhead but authorities were unable to track him due to no cell service being available. While rescuers trawled the woods, church members prayed. Church member Julie Metheny said the congregation were shocked, devastated, heartbroken, scared ,and anxious to learn that Burgess was missing.
"There was a very poignant prayer at the end of our service," she told AL.com.
Their prayers were answered.
It took three days but rescuers managed to locate Burgess, who spent the time in the woods with little food and water, drinking from the creek to survive. He was reportedly too weak to walk and had to be air-lifted form the woods and transported to a hospital, but he is making a full recovery.
Church members breathed a collective sigh of relief upon hearing the good news, but few were surprised by the pastor's fighting spirit.
"Sid Burgess is an extremely strong-willed man," said one member, Amy Crowe, according to AL.com. "I didn’t worry about him like I would have someone else. I knew he’d know how to take care of himself. Very resilient."
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