Newton Pastor Recovering, Forgives Accused Drunk Driver’s Actions

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NEWTON, Iowa -- Looking at the cuts, scrapes and bruises on his face, Cory Stout says he’s grateful to be alive.

On Wednesday night, Stout hosted an evening of prayer time with his congregation at Community Heights Alliance Church, where he has served as the lead pastor for 10 years.

Once the service was over, as Stout was leaving he stopped to help a woman whose car was stuck in the snow on the street just outside of the church’s parking lot.

The next thing he remembers, is waking up on the ground, bleeding.

“We are in the midst of a week of prayer. We are praying for blessing and protection and then this happened,” said Stout.

Police say 19-year-old Rey Khalil of West Des Moines was drunk and lost control of his car, hitting the pastor head on. Stout is suffering from several deep cuts on his face, bruising, road rash and an injured shoulder.

Authorities arrested Khalil and charged him with an OWI. No one else was injured.


Stout says despite the driver’s reckless actions, he forgives him.

“I don`t know what’s going on in his life, what forms of pain he`s enduring or what would cause him to turn to alcohol but our prayer is that he would turn from that and come to see that there is hope,” he said.

Stout and his wife Amy, say the crash tested their faith but it didn’t break it. The pastor is planning on preaching on Sunday using the crash as a teaching point in his sermon.

“It really comes down to faith. We do believe that his ways our higher than ours, even when things don`t turn out exactly like how we want,” says Stout.