Rev John MacGregor revealed that 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, who leads Cadder Parish Church in Bishopbriggs near Glasgow, 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.
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.
Around 500 people attended a special service on the quayside in Tarbert on Saturday.