Hundreds of people pack church to remember Chad Rogers - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Hundreds of people pack church to remember Chad Rogers


The disappearance, and then the discovery of a missing jogger's body gripped a community in despair. Friday evening, hundreds of people came together to remember Chad Rogers.

There was such a large turnout at the event, that police were called in to help with traffic control.

The service lasted about two hours, and it was clear Rogers' family wasn't looking to dwell on his passing, instead wanting to celebrate the impact they said he had on so many people.

There wasn't an empty seat to be had at the Shoal Creek Community Church, located just off of Interstate 35 near Northeast Pleasant Valley Road in Pleasant Valley, MO. Hundreds of friends, family and colleagues came to share their fondest memories of Rogers one week after he was found dead.

"Your response over the past week and a half has been remarkable, the search, social media, conversations with others, the prayer vigils, this celebration, truly inspiring," said friend Keith Townsend.

Rogers went missing July 23, after going out for a run. Hundreds of people joined in on several days worth of searches, until his body was found in a portable toilet at South Valley Junior High, about a mile from his parent's home, where he was temporarily staying with his wife and young son.

Police said there are no signs of foul play, but they still have not released an official cause of death.

Friday night Rogers' friends chose to concentrate more on how he lived.

"Chad was like a super nova. He was a bright shining star in this galaxy that we call life, and then something happened," Townsend said. "But instead of fading away, he suddenly burst open, and now he's brighter and more beautiful than he ever was before."

"If you knew Chad, you liked Chad and you cared about Chad, and thousands of people did the same, hundreds here in town searching, and also for the Rogers family. It was an incredible thing," said a childhood friend, Cooper Banks.

His family initially set-up a trust fund to support Rogers' wife and son, but now his family is holding off on that. Instead they plan to hold a benefit concert and a run to help raise money for them. The family is still working to finalize the details.

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