The 29-year-old former Sonny With a Chance star wrote a sweet message on Instagram on Sunday about Carney, who was tragically killed in a single-vehicle car crash last Friday. Thornton talked about Carney's strong faith in the emotional post.
"There are so many things I want you to know about Chris, but most importantly you must know how earnestly he pursued the Lord, especially in the past year," Thornton Instagrammed alongside a photo of the two slow dancing together. "No one is perfect in this world and we all have our battles, but it's the way we get back on our feet and turn it around that really counts. And he did it. He was so on fire for God and I know he flew straight into the arms of Jesus, his best friend."
"There is so much power in the redemption God gives us and I am so grateful that Chris and I got to fall in love all over again this past year," she added. "He finished writing, directing, producing and editing his first Christian film and he and I got to star in it together as love interests who end up getting married."
Carney, who was the lead singer of the group The Prom Kings and starred in an MTV reality show called twentyfourseven
, married Thornton in 2011. According to a 2011 interview with The Arkansas Times
, he pursued Thornton after seeing her on the Disney Channel while he was stuck at a hospital after getting injured on a job, instantly falling for her. "Here comes Tiffany. It was like my life flashed before my eyes, a download from the universe," he said.
They have two sons together, 3-year-old Kenneth James and 1-year-old Bentley Cash.
"He was THE BEST father my children could ever have, an incredibly loving and sensitive husband, a wonderful brother and amazing son," Thornton shared. "Thank you for your continued prayers for our family as we grieve the loss of my best friend Chris, the most incredible person I've ever had the blessing of knowing."
A service in remembrance of Carney was held on Monday at the First Church of the Nazarene in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
As ET previously reported, Carney was pronounced dead at the scene on U.S. Highway 70 East in Arkansas on Dec. 4, after the vehicle he was riding in drove off the road and struck a tree. He was 35 years old. The driver of the vehicle, Carney's friend, 37-year-old Ezekiel Blanton, was also killed.
"Chris was at the best time in his life," Sarah Ruth King Carney, who is married to Chris' brother, Greg Carney, told ET. "He turned his life around and made his life right. He was the best father to his beautiful boys. And the best husband to his wife. He had such a big heart. Loved his family and friends so much. And he is loved by many. He will always be remembered and we know he is in heaven."
Thornton's Sonny With a Chance
co-star, Demi Lovato, shared her thoughts on Carney's devastating death
on Saturday. Lovato posted a throwback photo of herself and her boyfriend, Wilmer Valderrama -- who was also close friends with Carney -- at the couple's wedding.
"I don't know how to put into words how heartbroken I am for Tiffany and their two baby boys," Lovato wrote. "You're already missed Chris. And Tiffany I love you so much. I'm so unbelievably sorry... "
"She [Thornton] will raise the two beautiful boys you both share with the love and loyalty that you had for life ... And as a Godfather I will look after then and help them remember your spirit and heart," Valderrama echoed in his own Instagram post. "I love you Chris, I'll see you in our next round at living."