Pastor Levi Woodhouse Dies in Tragic Accident

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Calvary Chapel Pastor Levi Woodhouse Dies in Tragic Accident: Pray for Grieving Family & Friends

Story by Margot Bass

Calvary Chapel believers are mourning the death of Levi Woodhouse, former pastor of Calvary Chapel Ridgecrest, CA, killed in a tragic car wreck early Sunday morning, October 30. His pregnant wife, Amanda, survived, but was airlifted to a hospital in Reno, NV, where she has been treated for serious multiple injuries, including broken ribs and fractures. She was released this afternoon (Tuesday).

The accident occurred as Levi and Amanda were traveling from Ridgecrest, driving in the isolated Nevada desert, to serve on staff at Calvary Chapel Jerome, ID. 

The couple’s baby, due to be delivered in late December, was carefully monitored by hospital staff. “The baby has a very strong heartbeat … which could always be heard in the room,” according to Jerel Hagerman, senior pastor of Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel, CA, the church Amanda grew up in. 

Amanda has been surrounded by family and friends, including Pastor Jerel. While visiting her in the hospital, Jerel and his wife shared 2 Corinthians 5:3 with her, reminding her that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. She has also clung to Psalm 27:13: I would have lost heart unless I had believed in the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 

Jerel’s wife Merrily was able to be by Amanda’s side. Amanda recounted, “It was such a comfort when Merrily was sharing the Scriptures with me and praying with me.” 

Jerel noted, “Obviously it’s very, very hard. But Amanda’s looking to the Lord, trusting the Lord. She’s been witnessing to the nurses there. All the nurses [at Renown Hospital in Reno] wanted to gather around in a circle and pray with her.”

He described Levi as a “wonderful, gentle giant who led many people to the Lord. His faith was great, and his trust in the Lord. And Amanda’s too. She’s brokenhearted and sad but rejoicing that he’s with Jesus.” 

Miracles Amidst the Tragedy
Even in the darkness and trauma, God shed His light. During the accident, involving only their truck, Levi was ejected, but Amanda was not. Jerel shared, “It was dark. She couldn’t see anything. She couldn’t find Levi. In her crawling around outside, all of a sudden, Levi’s phone lit up and started playing Christian music. Through that, she was able to find Levi’s body. There are so many dead spots in Nevada on these desolate roads. But the phone worked, and she was able to call 9-1-1. The police were 75 miles away. She had to sit out there by herself with him for an hour and a half.” He noted that one of their two dogs also died.

Jerel added, “Pray because she saw and experienced much in the freezing cold alone. We are praying she remembers Levi’s beautiful face instead.” 

Miraculously, her baby is OK—the seatbelt didn’t hurt the unborn child. Another miracle, Jerel said, was that Amanda originally had a broken ankle, three broken ribs, and a bruised lung. “But the doctor came in and said, ‘I don’t know what to tell you, but your ankle isn’t broken anymore.’”

Leaving a Legacy
Buhl, ID, was Levi’s home. An October 31 Facebook post from Calvary Chapel Buhl said of Levi: [He] was a true Barnabas of the faith. It’s unimaginable what life for her will be like without him. We cling to [the] joy that he is in glory, enjoying his Master’s rest and joy! We will also cling to our hope of reuniting with him there one day.”

“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:21 ESV 

The CC Buhl post continued: “Please pray for her healing and [what] their families are experiencing. Please pray for all of us who know and love them and [for] the grief we are facing. We are so heartbroken he is not with us here, not with his wife and baby. Words cannot express how much he will be missed by us all and how heartbroken we are about this tragedy for Amanda and baby and families.” 

Calvary Chapel Ridgecrest noted in a Facebook announcement, “We pray for peace for their family and friends in this difficult time.” 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV 

Amanda gratefully concluded, “Levi was an amazing man of God who loved people. He was a youth pastor for years, and then a senior pastor, and served in missions leading many people to the Lord.”


A GoFundMe account has been set up for Amanda and her baby. You can contribute here: Support for Amanda Woodhouse and Baby



All verses above are quoted from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

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