Latter-day Saint mission president dies in the Philippines at age 61

A 61-year-old mission president serving in the Philippines has died, according to a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Bradley Wayne Kirk, a resident of Clovis, Calif., who was overseeing the church’s Philippines Naga Mission, suffered a stroke at home and was taken to the hospital, where he died Wednesday morning, Daniel Woodruff said in a news release.

Kirk and his wife, Shirley, had been serving in the Philippines since July. The couple have three children.

“We call upon people of faith to join us in praying for the comfort and well-being of the Kirk family at this difficult time,” the release said, “We also pray for the missionaries who will miss this wonderful and capable leader.”

The Kirk family issued a separate statement about their husband, father and grandfather. “We find comfort that he passed while doing what he loved — serving the Lord in a place dear to his heart amongst a people he loved, with his lifelong sweetheart by his side."

The family said Kirk “felt a deep love and appreciation for the missionaries. His love for family, music, the outdoors, and our savior Jesus Christ will never be forgotten. We await the day of our joyful reunion."

The Philippines is home to more than 785,000 Latter-day Saints and has 22 missions.