Gulfport Minister Dies In Car Accident

A two car accident Wednesday morning claimed the life of a Gulfport minister. 59-year James Graves died after a car driven by Debra Frisby hit his car.

The accident occurred on Dedeaux Road east of Three Rivers Road. Police say Frisby was driving east on Dedeaux when her car left the roadway on the south shoulder. Frisby managed to gain control of the car and get back on the road, but ran into the path of Graves' westbound car. Both drivers were taken to Garden Park Medical Center, where the pastor later died. Frisby is in serious condition.

An account to help with funeral expenses has been set up at any Hancock Bank.

In March, Reverend Graves was installed as the pastor of Olivet Baptist Church in North Gulfport. At the same time, the church the congregation from Graves' old church Bread of Life.

It wasn't so long ago, both churches were in need. The Bread of Life church was in an inconvenient location, while members of Olivet had gone years without a permanent preacher. What made the merger unique was that one church was primary black, the other white.

Members told WLOX News once when they realized the answer to their prayers was each other, the fact the congregations weren't the same race didn't matter. On that day, Rev. James Graves said, "We're just hoping that spirit will just catch on like a contagious disease and folks will come regardless of who they are, what racial background they are."