Search for Chad Rogers continues through third day (VIDEO)
First Methodist holds Jefferson City vigil for missing minister
Originally published July 25, 2013 at 5 a.m., updated July 25, 2013 at 7:03 p.m.
UPDATE: The search for Chad Rogers in Liberty, Mo., continued on Thursday.
Updates on the efforts are being posted on a different Facebook page titled "Bring Chad Rogers home" at https://www.facebook.com/BringChadRogersHome, which has been activated to replace a previous one.
As the search continued for a missing former Jefferson City youth minister, members of the Capital City church in which he served took time to pray for his safe return.
People started coming to First United Methodist Church on Monroe Street around 4 p.m. Wednesday for a prayer vigil for Chad Rogers.
Rogers was last seen on Monday jogging in his hometown of Liberty, near Kansas City.
Since that time, family and friends have joined authorities trying to find the father of one who many have described as very grounded with an outgoing personality.
Those who came to the vigil sat in circles around a small altar in the center of the sanctuary, listening to scripture, praying and silently meditating.
All ages were represented, but many were youths, many of whom remembered Rogers from his time as youth minister for the church.
Ross Shelton, a long-time youth member, was among the first to come to the vigil.
“Chad was one of those people who was extremely accepting,” Shelton said. “He was one of those guys you’d be friends with five seconds after you met him. We got to know each other real well while at a work camp in Joplin helping after the tornado and became extremely close.”
Shelton said he knew Rogers was going to be good when he asked the youth group what they wanted the group to be.
“It was an awesome experience and benefited our church,” Shelton said.
While he was glad the vigil was held, Shelton said it was sad.
“Chad is always happy,” Shelton said. “We’re not giving up hope. In a situation like this, you feel helpless, so praying helps take that away.”
Keith Townsend is a parent volunteer with the youth group and knows Rogers well.
“He was, and is, incredibly well liked by everyone, especially the youth,” Townsend said. “He had a way of relating to all levels, both small kids and high school kids. He planned a lot of events that we’d never done before at the church. He set up an area to gather at sporting events so people could be together as one. He is a beautiful individual.”
Townsend said in situations like this, people question whether the missing person would run away.
“That’s not Chad,” he said. “Chad’s extremely devoted to his son, Matthew. It’s not the scenario you would hope for, but you hope that, given the options, that he needed to go off some place instead of the option of something bad happened to him.”
Townsend said Rogers was a stay-at-home dad and proud of it.
“He once said it was the best job he ever had, but being new parents always brings pressure,” Townsend said. “They hadn’t sold their house in Jefferson City and have been living with his family, but his family is very supportive.”
Townsend and his daughter went to Liberty Wednesday evening to help in the search.
“Chad is the type of person that if you spend one day with him, you feel you’ve known him for a lifetime,” Townsend said. “He would give people the shirt off his back, whether he knew them or not.”
At Wednesday’s vigil, many shed tears and others held or hugged each other in the quiet, but emotionally filled, room.
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