The Rev John MacGregor who leads Cadder Parish Church revealed he had known the skipper of the TT100 Nancy Glen, Duncan MacDougall, for most of his life.
He described him as a “great guy with everything to live for”.
Mr MacDougall, a father of two young sons, was aboard the prawn trawler with Przemek Krawczyk when it sank on January 18.
A third crewman, John Miller survived after being rescued by a passing vessel.
Work is underway to determine whether TT100 Nancy Glen, which was registered in Tarbert, can be raised to the surface.
It is thought to be sitting at a depth of 459-feet near Barmore Island.
Mr MacGregor, who grew up in Tarbert, said the tragedy had “devastated” the village and appealed to Kirk members across Scotland and further afield to donate what they could to a special fund to “bring the boys home”.
The families of the two men, who lived in Tarbert, are desperate for their remains to be brought home and a campaign to fund the raising of the boat has collected over £207,000 in two weeks.
Mr MacGregor said: “When I heard the news, it was hard to believe that trapped on board was a man whom I have known most of my life.
“Duncan McDougall will be remembered as a great guy and an excellent football player.
“He played for a boys` team which I managed over 30 years ago.
“He was a very outgoing and popular young man.
“We were later to play for the local amateur team, Tarbert, Lochfyne in the Scottish Amateur League.”
Mr MacGregor, said his friend, who was married to Dawn, had “everything to live for”.
“He was a leader who touched so many lives,” he added.
“When he was younger, he came along to a youth club which I ran in the local Church of Scotland and Duncan loved the sports and the games.
“He was very competitive and loved to win.
“Now his loved ones are left with the task to get him home along with Przemek Krawczyk who worked with him on the boat.”
Mr MacGregor said the people of Tarbert had shown “amazing spirit” as they work tirelessly to raise money for the families of the two men.
“This is a huge project and it needs more than the local people - it needs governments and churches to raise the profile of this tragedy,” he added.
“I plead with the members of the Church of Scotland to help the village of Tarbert.
“To pray for it, to give generously to the fund and to speak to those with the power and authority to help.
“It is a tragic situation that has touched the hearts and lives of so many people.
“We all want to see these boys brought home to their loved ones and to their village.”
Around 500 people attended a special service on the quayside in Tarbert on Saturday.
It was jointly led by Church of Scotland minister, Rev Catriona Hood, who leads Tarbert and North Kintyre Churches, Free Church minister, Rev Robert MacLeod, and Matthew Ramsay of the Fishermen’s Mission.
A candle was lit and will continue to burn brightly until the missing men are returned home.
Ms Hood said: “The way in which the community has pulled together in responding to this tragedy is genuinely remarkable.
“We are also being well supported by all our surrounding communities where significant funds are also being raised.
“The Church of Scotland and Free Church continue to work together with The Fisherman’s Mission to respond and support in any way we can.
“The Church’s Presbytery of Argyll has contacted all churches in Argyll with requests for prayers.”