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Brainerd pastor critically injured in deer stand fall

The faith community in the lakes area is praying for a Brainerd associate pastor who was critically injured early Saturday when he fell 15 feet from his deer stand, breaking his back.

Faith Baptist Church associate pastor Max Day was hunting in Itasca State Park early Saturday morning with two of his sons and a granddaughter when the accident occurred.

Senior Pastor Jim Goodew of Faith Baptist said Tuesday that the accident happened about 7:15 a.m. Saturday during deer hunting opening weekend. Day had climbed nearly the entire 15 feet to his deer stand but then the final peg came out of the tree, sending him into a freefall onto the ground.

Goodew said thankfully Day had his cell phone and was able to call his son, who is a law enforcement officer who immediately called for an ambulance, sheriff’s department and a helicopter lifeflight to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. Goodew said Day’s son had his father turn on his flashlight so they could find him.

“They’re very careful hunters,” said Goodew. “I was talking to his son and they get into harnesses in the stand. That last peg just gave out and there was nothing to hold on to.”

According to Day’s CaringBridge website, his CT scan revealed that his T11 vertebrae was crushed and pressing on his spine. He has no feeling from the mid-abdomen on down. Goodew said Day had surgery Monday to put rods in to stabilize his back.

Day, who is 65, was physically fit and active. He worked out at a local gym each morning and

a couple of months ago was out in Colorado elk hunting with his sons, said Goodew.

Day, who came from the Twin Cities area, has been an associate pastor at Faith Baptist Church for the past five years. He and his wife Sharon have five children.

“We’re all pretty stunned,” said Goodew.

Goodew said parishioners at the Sunday night service devoted the entire service to a prayer time for Day. Every 15 minutes specific directions were given on what to ask the Lord for in helping in his recovery, Goodew said.

“He’s just a very energetic, focused guy that really wants to serve the Lord,” Goodew said of Day. “When I visited him in the hospital he was so apologetic to me because he can’t help me. That’s his mindset.”

Goodew said Day and his wife had been interested in mission work in the near future.

“This has really changed his life,” said Goodew. “He was hoping to go into the mission fields and do mission furlough replacement. That’s just the kind of person he is. He wants to see people know the Lord.”

To stay updated on Day’s condition and to leave a message of support for him and his family, visit his CaringBridge website,

JODIE TWEED may be reached at or 855-5858.