40-year-old Paul Henley was eastbound on Highway 62/412 about 7:50 p.m. when his Chrysler mini-van failed to negotiate a curve. The vehicle traveled off the roadway into a ditch, overturning and ejecting Henley.
Paul Henley was well known in the Salem area as the music director at First Baptist Church.
As word spread the night of the accident, the church was opened to allow church members to comfort each other.
Another large crowd gathered Friday, July 23, for Henley's funeral.
"He will be missed every day," said First Baptist Pastor John Hodges. "He led worship services for the last 12 years. He was very loyal and committed to serving the church."
Henley's wife, Annette, is a first grade teacher at Salem Elementary School. The couple have three children.
According to Hodges, the family has received a huge outpouring of support from church members, Annette's colleagues at school, and others including Henley's employer, Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home.
"He was a big man with a big heart," said Brother Hodges, who was a close personal friend of Henley.
"I can't imagine going on without him but I don't have a choice," added Hodges. "We will honor him and keep going, which is the way he would want it."