JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jacksonville church pastor said in just a little more than 2 weeks, 7 congregate members died from COVID-19, and more of their members are currently in the hospital.
Six members died within 10 days of each other.
“I am still working through the passing of the most recent person. I’m saddened by the losses. They were wonderful, loving people,” Minister and Principal of the church’s Christian academy Evelyn Robinson said.
Senior Pastor George Davis at Impact Church in Arlington estimated 15 to 20 members are now in the hospital, another 10 or so are at home quarantined with the virus and three to five vaccinated members also tested positive.
During church services, the church requires masks, the auditorium is thoroughly cleaned in between services, it practices social distancing, and offers hand sanitizer. After speaking with the families of the infected members, the pastor said he is certain they contracted it from somewhere outside of the church.
Davis said it was late July when they first learned a member tested positive. From then, it’s been a cascade of additional cases. Those who passed, he says, weren’t in the hospital long before they died.
In recent weeks, the church has been pushing even harder to get as many people vaccinated as possible. The church held a vaccine event in March where he says 800 people accepted the vaccine.
“All I know is my heart’s 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,” Davis said.
The first memorial service for the members who passed was held last weekend. It’s not clear the age of the most recent person who passed.
The church is providing free grief counseling to its members during this time.
Condolences to the family members and the church.