Pastor shares memories of first-grader who died after car accident

Published 11:09 am Thursday, March 30, 2023

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Open Door Baptist Church Pastor Nathan Hammill says Elise Lane Lowrance was “one of the most loving and caring children you would ever meet.”

Hammill will officiate the funeral Sunday for the 7-year-old who died Tuesday following injuries sustained in a car accident March 24.

Hammill said he saw her every day, as Elise was in the first grade at Open Door Christian Academy, what he called a homeschool co-op.

“She was an excellent student, straight A’s, smart as a whip, just a great kid in class,” said Hammill, who has pastored Open Door for nearly 14 years.

Elise Lowrance (Contributed)

She was active in church, singing in choirs and participating in youth activities.

“They were faithful to be here,” he said. “They are the kind of family that invites me to the family reunions, to the birthday parties. We were close.”

Hammill said Elise had a “loving personality.”

“A great kid all around,” he said.

When speaking of dealing with the loss, Hammill references Hebrews 11:38: “Of whom the world was not worthy.”

“That’s how I consider little Elise,” he said. “This world was not worthy of the special person she was. She would light up a room just by walking in it.”

Elise was born Jan. 5, 2016 in Cabarrus County, a daughter of Sean Tyler Lowrance and Cassie Caudle Lowrance.

She loved God and enjoyed dancing, gymnastics, hunting and fishing, according to her obituary.

Besides her parents, she is survived by brother Graham Lowrance, sister Piper Lowrance and many other relatives.

According to a report earlier this week from Erica Tyson, her aunt, Elise was in the back seat on the driver’s side and sustained critical injuries to her spinal column.

Kaidyn Parks, Elise’s cousin, was also injured in the crash. Hammill said she is recovering and may be released soon from the hospital.

Tyson said Parks’ 16-year-old sister Kaylee was turning right onto N.C. Highway 73 from Nelson Mountain Road with the intention of then turning left onto Cane Drive when another vehicle crashed into the car.

Information from N.C. Highway Patrol is not available yet. It is not known if charges may be pending in the crash.

Elise’s funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Open Door Baptist Church, where she was a member.

The family will receive friends 5-8 p.m. Saturday at Stanly Funeral and Cremation Care of Albemarle.

Tyson set up GoFundMe pages to help with medical expenses for the families of Elise and Kaidyn.

Hammill said donations may also be made through the church. Checks may be made to Open Door Baptist Church, c/o The Lowrance Family, 44563 U.S. Highway 52, Richfield, NC 28137.