Covenant Runner Saw Both Boston Marathon Explosions

By Stan Friedman

BOSTON, MA (April 15, 2013) – Dave Cairns, executive director of Pilgrim Pines Conference Center, was two-tenths of a mile short of the finish line at the Boston Marathon and witnessed both of the deadly explosions that killed three people and injured dozens more, he stated on his Facebook account this afternoon.

Cairns was uninjured as was Grant Buchholtz, an Evangelical Covenant Church short-term missionary to Japan who is home on assignment. Two explosions occurred around 2:50 p.m.

Howard Burgoyne, East Coast Conference superintendent, said his brother and wife, who were volunteering at the event and located at the finish line, also were safe. It is unknown whether any other Covenanters were attending or participating in the marathon.

“We pray for the families of the two killed and 22 injured, and for the first responders,” Burgoyne said. (The death toll had increased to three shortly following Burgoyne’s comments.)

Buchholtz and Cairns were running using the two spots reserved for Community Covenant Church, which makes its parking lot available for the marathon. The church provides the spots to runners who raise money for camping ministry.

Click here to read Buchholtz’s observations.

Covenant News Service will update this story as details become available.

For a previous story on Cairns’ fundraising effort, click here.





  • My sister and I were just a few blocks away from the explosions when they occurred waiting to see David and Grant come by. We’re fine but are praying for all the people injured and the families of the people who were so tragically killed. Anders and Britt Erickson son and daughter of Dean and Donna (NPU Board of Trustees) Erickson also ran but had completed the course prior to the explosions. They’re safe too. What began as a perfect Marathon Monday for both runners and viewers has ended as a needlessly sad and tragic one. Prayers for all involved.

  • I believe the most proper way of thanking God for Dave Cairns’ safety in the midst of double Boston marathon is to help him with his fundraising goal of raising $12,445 toward camping scholarships.

    With only one hour to go, there is still a deficit of a few thousands of dollars. Can the Covenant family pull together and help him reach this goal??

    Donate here:

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