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'We Really Want to Hold This Family up in Prayer': People Around the World Praying for Woman Who Lost 9 Family Members in Boating Accident


Dozens of church members gathered at Zion Tabernacle Apostolic Church in Indianapolis Sunday to pray for Tia Coleman, the woman who lost her husband and three children in the Missouri duck boat accident.

Coleman attended the church as a child.

"We all have been touched by it and we're all struggling because we all love Tia," Beverly Reese, a member of Zion Tabernacle told a local ABC station.  "I had her through children's ministry. I was there when she graduated from high school. She is just a very, very sweet child and we just want to tell her that we love her and we're praying like never before because we know this takes God and him only."

"We don't have the words to say to her. No words can heal that...but we've gotta stay strong for her because she is going to need our strength to draw from," she added. 

The church is rallying around Coleman to offer support, love, prayers and financial help.

"I can't imagine," said Samuel Rogers, who serves an elder at Zion Tabernacle.  "It's something you wonder how can you absorb that shock all at one time."

He said Coleman's pain has touched many beyond the community.

"The church has gotten condolences and well-wishes, really not just from across the country, but from various parts of the globe," said Griffith.  "There are people right now praying for this family and this situation, and this story has just made it around the globe. We really want to hold this family up in prayer."

Coleman's current pastor, Bishop Victor Morrisey of God's Love Christian Church in Indianapolis traveled to Branson to be with her during this difficult time.

He is also encouraging support for her during the most trying time of her life. 

"Two big ways, Morrisey told WTHR.  "First way is prayer and then the second way is go to the GoFundMe account and support her."

As of Monday morning, more than 10,000 people have raised over $444,000 for Coleman via a GoFundMe campaign. 

Seventeen people died tragically Thursday near Branson, Missouri after the Ride The Ducks boat capsized in Table Rock Lake.

Coleman, who floated to the surface and swallowed a lot of water, along with her nephew survived but her husband, three children, and several other family members drowned.

Those who died include Coleman's husband and the couple's three children - a 9-year-old, a 7-year-old, and a 1-year old, along with Coleman's mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, 2-year-old nephew, and her husband's uncle.

During a news conference from the hospital Saturday, Coleman spoke about her family and how she will remember them. 

"I lost my husband who was...he was so loving, he didn't look like he was but he was so loving.  I remember my babies. My oldest son was Reese, he was on the autism spectrum but he made everyday worth living.  And he was the happiest, sweetest little boy anybody would ever want to meet," she said.  "My Evan, who was seven who was extremely smart and quick and witty.  He loved life. He was a great brother, a big brother and a little brother.  And then my baby Aria, she was only one.  And she had a fascinating personality wrapped up in her one."

Coleman also shared what she would say to her family if she had the chance to speak with them one last time.

"I would tell my husband that what I always tell him. We in this thing for life, for better or worse. And I would let him know again just how great of a father he is." said Coleman. "I'd tell my oldest son Reese don't worry about what the world puts on you, make your own world. I'd tell my son Evan that you can be anything you want to be, and I'd kiss him. And we'd talk about each other and call each other names. I'd tell my daughter Aria, and I would whisper in her ear, always look out for your brothers."

She added, "Keep us in prayer. We are are going to need it."  

Coleman, who is still hospitalized, will soon be going home to an empty house.

"Since I have had a home, it has always been filled. It has always been filled with little feet and laughter, and my husband. I don't know how I am going to do it." said Coleman. 

Funeral services for Colemans' husband and children are scheduled for Friday, July 27.

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