A Christian comedian whom friends said had a passion for life died after being struck by a car along Interstate 285 Tuesday.
Fulton County police Cpl. Kay Lester said Lanny Moody, 54, of Covington, had pulled over to the right shoulder lane on I-285 southbound just before Cascade Road, when a second vehicle driven by Benjamin Head, 70, of Jackson, struck Moody around 3:30 p.m.
“For some reason he was outside of the vehicle. We may believe he was checking a load,” Lester said. “There was no evidence that he was changing a tire because it was an 18-wheeler flatbed vehicle.”
Lester said Moody died from his injuries at the scene. She said Head faces misdemeanor charges of homicide by vehicle and failure to maintain lane. He was released and has a court date set for January 16, 2014.
Moody, a member of Solid Rock Baptist Church in Covington, was a youth pastor at the church for five years and a well-known Christian comedian. His pastor, Mike Franklin, said he has traveled the state with his comedy.
“He loved life and he loved his Lord and he was a big advocate of sharing that with people,” Franklin said.
Moody was born in Covington in 1959. He had many passions in life, one of which was sharing the gospel and bringing people to Christ. Through his outgoing personality and his comedic skills, he demonstrated God’s love through fun and laughter and was able to touch so many lives through his ministry, Upside Down Comedy.
Moody had a passion for his family. He adored his wife Paula and did everything he could to make her happy. She was truly the love of his life. He was so proud of his children and found every reason he could to gather them together. From bonfires in the back yard to family vacations in Daytona Beach, he never missed an opportunity to make memories. Although many people knew him as Lanny, his three new grandsons knew him as "Tonka." Nothing made him happier than to see their faces light up when "Tonka" walked in the room.
Moody worked as a crane operator for over 25 years. Although he worked very hard as an operator, his true passion was for the church. During his life, he worked as a youth pastor, minister of education and comedian. He recently completed his bachelor’s degree at Andersonville Theological Seminary and was excited about what God had in store for his life.
His involvement in the ministry took him across the United States and into the hearts of thousands of people.
Survivors include his wife, Paula J. Moody; children and their spouses, Lan and Chelsea Moody, Garett and Kayleigh Moody, Dylan Moody, Blake IV and Mindy Alexander, Carrie and Cameron Kiplinger; grandsons. Landon Moody, Dawson Kiplinger, and Grayson Alexander; parents, the Rev. and Mrs. R. Hudson Moody; sisters, Viki Moody Presley, Faith Moody of Woodstock; brothers and sister-in-law, Hudson Moody of Dacula and the Rev. David and Carol Moody of Covington; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Solid Rock Baptist Church, 8111 Brown Bridge Road, in Covington, with the Rev. Mike Franklin, the Rev. David Moody, the Rev. R. Hudson Moody, Dr. Larry Cheek and Terry Stutes officiating. The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m., Dec. 6, at Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, 1215 Access Road, Covington.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made for Run for the Son Christian Motorcyclist Association, c/o Deborah Skinner, 1040 Walker Lake Road, Conyers, Ga. 30094. The main purpose of CMA is to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with motorcyclists. Changing the world one heart at a time.
To place online condolences, visit www.caldwellandcowan.com.