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Son of ex-Rebel Cunningham drowns

Skip Jourdan, who plays guitar at Remnant Ministries, has missed only three Sundays in three years.

He knew where he had to be Tuesday night.

Jourdan was among 30 to 40 church members who quickly assembled at the church on Windmill Lane as news spread about the death of Randall Cunningham’s 2½-year-old son. Cunningham, the former UNLV and NFL star quarterback, is pastor of Remnant Ministries.

"This is why you have a church family," Jourdan said. "This is why you belong to something like this. I can’t imagine trying to go through something like this and not having a church family. Who are you going to turn to?"

Christian Cunningham, who would have been 3 in December, died after being found floating in the backyard hot tub, according to friends of the family. Randall Cunningham performs baptisms in the hot tub at his home, which is near the church.

A woman at Cunningham’s house was with several children when she found the boy at about 4:30 p.m., Las Vegas police Lt. Dennis Flynn said. She removed the boy from the hot tub and began performing CPR. Paramedics took the child to St. Rose Dominican Hospital, Siena campus, where he died, Flynn said.

Abuse and neglect detectives were investigating the incident at the house on the 300 block of East Robindale Road, near Paradise Road. Flynn said the drowning appeared to be an accident.

"We know healing is going to take time," said one church member, who said she goes by the name Miss Happy. "We ask that everyone pray for the family. It hurts. It hurts."

Cunningham was believed to be in San Diego or on his way back at the time of the drowning.

Members of the church congregation gathered that night and shared stories, prayed and cried. They talked about Christian learning to speak, playing football and constantly smiling and having fun.

"He touched the lives of anybody who stood there and watched him," Miss Happy said. "He’s one of those little kids like, ‘I’ll take you home with me.’ I can sit here and talk all day about Christian."

Cunningham generally is considered the greatest player in UNLV history. He still holds the record with 8,020 career passing yards.

From there, he put together a 16-year NFL career that included four Pro Bowl selections. Cunningham also is largely credited with making quarterback a more mobile position.

He became an ordained minister in 2004 and opened Remnant Ministries later that year.

He and his wife, Felicity, have three other children: Randall II, Vashti and Grace.

Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Lawrence Mower contributed to this report.

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