A rural farming community in Co Tyrone has been “deeply shocked and saddened” by the loss of a “gentleman” cleric who put his energy into his community and was devoted to his family.
Rev Roy Campbell, 47, was minister of Clogher and Glenhoy Presbyterian Churches.
He is survived by his wife Tonya and son Gershom, 13, and daughter Joanna, 10.
He died suddenly at his home at Tullybroom Road at Clogher yesterday.
A post-mortem examination is to be carried out.
Clogher Valley councillor Wills Robinson said: “The whole area is deeply shocked and saddened by the death of the Rev Roy Campbell.
“He was a gentleman who not only pastored his churches but also put his energy into the community in which he lived.”
He added: “His wife and children have been hit with an incredible loss. I know from speaking with Roy how devoted he was to his family.”
The cleric was also chairman of Fivemiletown College board of governors, he said.
The clerk of the Presbyterian Presbytery in Omagh, Rev Robert Herron OBE, said he had known Rev Campbell since he had been appointed to his two churches in 2011.
News of his unexpected death yesterday morning has left those who knew him with “a deep sense of shock” he said.
“His congregations thought highly of him and were very supportive of him over the years. He was very happy here.
“He was a very caring person and would have been good at getting alongside people. He was empathetic.
“His whole commitment was to his family and congregations.”
The son of a farmer, he grew up in the Newtownstewart-Plumbridge area, he added.
He met his American wife, Tonya, when studying for his Master’s in Divinity at Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia.
Rev Herron praised his “faithful service in ministry” and said he was praying that his family “would know God’s grace, compassion, comfort and strength at this sad time”.