Pastor Holds Vaccine Clinic after 6 Unvaccinated Members Die of COVID: 'I'm Tired of Crying'

Michael Foust | Contributor | Monday, August 9, 2021
Pastor Holds Vaccine Clinic after 6 Unvaccinated Members Die of COVID: 'I'm Tired of Crying'

Pastor Holds Vaccine Clinic after 6 Unvaccinated Members Die of COVID: 'I'm Tired of Crying'

The death of six unvaccinated church members to the coronavirus has prompted a Florida church to host a COVID-19 vaccine clinic.

George Davis, the pastor of Impact Church in Jacksonville, Fla., says most of the six members who died were young.

Impact Church hosted a vaccine clinic Sunday where individuals could get the Pfizer vaccine for free. The church also hosted a vaccine clinic in March, when about 800 people were vaccinated.

"In the last 10 days, we've had six members of our church who have passed away from COVID," Davis told Jacksonville's Channel 4. "Four of them were under the age of 35. All of them were healthy. And the only thing they had in common is that they were not vaccinated."

An additional 15-20 members are still in the hospital.

The members likely caught COVID-19 outside of the church, Davis said. Impact Church requires masks and social distancing in worship services, he said.

"These are actual people that I know, that I've pastored. One 24-year-old kid – I've known him since he was a toddler," Davis said. "... All I know is [that] my heart and passion is to help the people that I'm called to serve – and do whatever I can to help see to it that they are in a healthier place."

The Florida Hospital Association says 95 percent of hospitalizations in the state involve patients who are not fully vaccinated.

"Previously healthy people from their teens to their 40s are now finding themselves in the hospital and on a ventilator," Mary C. Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association, said last week.

The vaccine, she said, "will likely keep you away from the hospital and ICU."

Florida's data is similar to that in other states. The Texas Department of State Health Services says 99 percent of COVID deaths since February have involved the unvaccinated.

About 183 million Americans – or 71 percent of the adult population – have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This includes 90 percent of those 65 and older who have received at least one dose. Just over half (50.1 percent) of the total population is fully vaccinated.

"I'm tired of crying about and burying people I love," Davis tweeted. "So take the political & religious games somewhere else!!"

Davis also posted a prayer thanking God for the vaccine.

"Dear Father God. Thank you for the wisdom and insight you've given to the scientists and medical community to be able to develop a vaccine that is effective against this hideous virus. For the many of us who have been praying for a resolution, we thank you for providing one," he wrote.

"I now humbly ask you to help us all weed through the bickering, finger-pointing, partisan politics, fear, religious extremism, and conspiracy theories to see the gift that lies in front of us," he added. "Please speak to the hearts of those who are truly seeking guidance to help them see whether it is or is not your will for them to be vaccinated. And help us to all come together with reasonable hearts to do what is best for one another. I ask this in Jesus's Name!!!! Amen!!!"


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Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Choreograph

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.