Editor’s note: This article was written by Scott Barkley, national correspondent for Baptist Press.
ROCKWALL, Texas (BP) – Messages of condolences and prayer support came forward for Shane Pruitt and his family July 25 following the death of his son.
“Titus Praise Pruitt, our precious boy, went home to be with Jesus at 12:50 AM this morning,” Pruitt, National Next Gen director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB), posted online.
“We are heartbroken, but also joyful. Joyful about him being home in Heaven with Jesus. Joyful that he will never again experience seizures, or a wheelchair, or medicines, or crying, or pain, or surgeries or suffering. Joyful that he is finally fully healed and fully alive. Joyful that he is getting to do so many things for the very first time like walk, run, sing, and worship the King face to face.”
Clay Smith, senior pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, was among those replying with support.
“Praying for you. So sorry to read of your loss. Grateful for the eternal mercy and grace of Jesus,” he said.
“May the Lord grant you great peace and the assured hope of the wholeness of his resurrection,” added Malcolm Yarnell, professor at Southwestern Seminary.
“I am so sorry … praying,” said Todd Gray, Kentucky Baptist Convention executive director.
NAMB President Kevin Ezell flew to Texas early this morning (July 26) to be with the Pruitt family and gave a statement to Baptist Press.
“In his short time here on earth, Titus endured great suffering but brought so much joy to those around him,” Ezell said. “His smile and personality lit up the room. Shane and Kasi gave him a home filled with love, faith and laughter. They are grateful Titus suffers no more, but the whole family will miss him terribly. Please keep the Pruitts in your prayers.”
“Shane Pruitt is one of my closest friends,” Nathan Lorick, executive director for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, told BP. “His love for the Lord and his family is an incredible example of how to live a life full of integrity.
“I can’t imagine the pain the Pruitts are going through, but I know others will see Jesus in how they walk through the loss of their precious son, Titus. I sincerely ask you to join me in praying for Shane, Kasi and their kids as they grieve the loss of Titus Praise Pruitt.”
Four of Shane and Kasi Pruitt’s six children joined their family through adoption. One of the children, named Praise, had lived practically his entire life in a Ugandan hospital due to health complications before coming home with the Pruitts in the spring of 2015.
Their son was given a new first name, Titus.
Shortly after Titus arrived at the Pruitt home, Kasi wrote about how God used her son to “constantly remind me that this life is but a moment, and a fleeting one at that. I pray for healing for our boy all the time, but the amazing reality is that one day healing will happen for Titus.
“It may or may not be in my timing but one day, either on this earth or in eternity, it will happen, and it will happen completely.”
Pruitt, a frequent speaker at student camps and other events, pointed to Titus over the years as an example and source of strength.
“Without a doubt the strongest and most resilient person I know,” he posted March 13 on his son’s return home after another surgery.
On Instagram, Kasi Pruitt reflected on her son’s life.
“The brightest light, biggest smile, most swag, and the absolute strongest person I have ever known. He experienced great suffering with great joy,” she wrote.
“… Being his Mom for the last 10 years has been nothing but a privilege!! He has made everyone in the Pruitt Pack better.”
Shane Pruitt said the same in his post on July 25.
“Please continue to pray for our family and especially our other kiddos as we have to learn a new normal without our Titus. We will be forever grateful for the 10 years the Lord gave us with him.”