Pastor Ed Young Opens up about Losing Daughter & Comfort from an Unlikely Source: a Shark

pastor ed young daughter leebeth

Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Dallas honors his daughter, Leebeth, in a very special way.

Ed and his wife, Lisa’s daughter, Leebeth Young, passed away suddenly in 2021 at the age of 34 due to substance abuse. Her parents have been grieving, but Ed found a way to honor her and find comfort in knowing God is with him.

RELATED: Christian Singer's Moving Post About Losing His Daughter

He Caught A Great White and Named Her Leebeth

In an interview with CrosswalkHeadlines, Ed shares about the life of his daughter, a staff member at the church, and how they bonded when they would go fishing together.

Last December, he got the chance to catch and tag a great white shark. “I got the call one afternoon and I along with some of my family and friends were on the next Southwest flight to go looking. I can still remember my friend who scouts for whales saying, ‘Ed, they’re here.'” Ed recalled.

Ed Young was ready to go on this voyage, which would be a meaningful way to honor his late daughter, Leebeth. “A shark was the last fish she caught,” Ed said. “I wanted to catch a Great White in honor of LeeBeth and share that experience with her.”

And that is precisely what he was able to do. It took Ed two hours to land the 14ft, 2,800lb shark. Captain Chip Michalove led the expedition with scientist Megan Winton. They caught the Great White Shark and tagged it with satellite trackers, then released her back into the ocean and began to follow her journey online.

They named the shark after Pastor Ed Young’s daughter Leebeth-an emotional way to honor her and her relationship with her father.

Tracking the Shark

RELATED: Dana Carvey Opens Up to David Spade About the Pain of Losing His Son, Dex, to an Overdose

As they tracked the shark, they discovered in February of 2024 that Leebeth had made history. The Great White Shark Conservatory announced that she had traveled the furthest west that a white shark had ever been tracked into the Gulf of Mexico.

The shark also appeared to be following Ed’s path. Ed explained, “Here’s what’s so crazy about it. It’s like she swam in a weird way to where we were. For example, in Florida, and then we were in, obviously, Dallas. So, she swam around Florida, she swam to the Texas coast, like a hundred yards from the beach. Yeah. And then Lisa and I went on a little vacation to Mexico. So, she was even down in near there, but now she’s turned around and come back."

What a wonderful reminder to Ed and his family that God is with them! He set out to honor his daughter and received a fantastic gift.

Pastor Ed Young Working Through Losing His Daughter Leebeth

Ed and his wife Lisa wrote a book about their grief, A Path through Pain: How Faith Deepens and Joy Grows through What You Would Never Choose. "Whenever you lose a child, you are going to walk with a limp the rest of your life. It’s always going to be that wound, sensitive to touch. So, I would say that though we’re doing well, it’s still surreal,” he said. “It’s brought our church closer together. It’s brought Lisa and I closer together.”

Ed also talks about how his faith has kept him strong during the loss of his daughter and how “Our church has just surrounded us with love and support and compassion.”

Losing a child is one of the most challenging things a couple would have to go through. To stay strong in your faith in God is essential, and to have a fantastic church family to help you through is a blessing.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Christian Singer TobyMac Gets Completely Vulnerable About The Grief Of Losing His Son

Although pastor Ed Young has lost his daughter Leebeth, he has found ways to honor her and endure. To depend on God through it all. And to find hope, even if it is his grief.

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” – Romans 8:18

LISTEN: Parents Are Blindsided As They Say Goodbye to 15-Month-Old | Dog Tracked a Scent to Save a Missing Child

h/t: Christian Headlines

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Ed Young/Lisa Young