Project 12

Discovering Discipleship in the 21st Century

Update on Tragic Accident

Posted by curtmort on October 19, 2009

In Memory of Russell Franklin “Rusty” Hall

In the last few years Franklin had made a new commitment to follow Jesus. He had been a Christian all his life but decided that he had been too half-hearted in the past. He was baptized and took on his second name, Franklin, as his Christian name. As students and staff of Project 12 visited with his family at the funeral we came to know the “Rusty” that they loved. He was a really good guy also. He had been a wrestler at his High School and earned the moniker “Relentless” as his wrestling name. We thought he was that kind of Christian also; Relentless! Like Franklin, Rusty was full of fun, could break out into a jig or dance with little provocation.
Franklin had gone out to the eastern states to help another student deliver some belongings home for storage. A third student had a car to drive. Franklin’s last message home was about being sick of all the degradation he was seeing, in the advertising world, on TV, and up and down the streets of some of our larger eastern cities. He was anxious to get home, not saying Chicago is any better, but it was home to his new-found friends in Project 12. A cold, wet and rainy night, tires hydroplaning, digging into gravel, the car rolling, over and over, sirens screaming, three young people admitted to the hospital, Franklin in ICU. Here is where the news reached us in the early morning hours. Within a half an hour, the call that Franklin did not make it.


He was young among us,
He was our friend.
When he was taken,
Was this the end?
We felt forsaken.
Yet love does not depart
With the beating of a heart.
We huddled round
The meaning of his life,
And found
He was not as absent
As we had thought.
He was with us more than we surmised.
We were surprised by joy.
We are closer to each other,
For the knowing of our brother,
In a fellowship forever.

Well done thou good
And faithful servant
Welcome home.

None of us will ever be the same for the knowing of Rusty Franklin Hall. He is embodied in us, in our memories and we all want to be relentless too, in following hard after God.

In the weeks to follow we hope to bring to this page some of the reactions of his fellow students and staff of Project 12. Pray for all of us. Pray for Rusty’s family. They are dear Christian people who have to find their way in the aftermath of his death.

2 Responses to “Update on Tragic Accident”

  1. Laura Andrews said

    I am deeply moved by your blog…Christopher Andrews is my son, I feel so grateful that he is surrounded by people of faith.

  2. Kole said

    he was an amazing uncle 😥 the whole family misses him deeply

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