Nearly two weeks after he was diagnosed with COVID-19, a beloved Kentucky pastor has died from the virus despite desperate prayers from his congregation asking the Lord to restore him “back to his normal self.”
Center Point Church in Lexington announced the passing Thursday of Senior Pastor Tim Parsons in a statement posted on Facebook.
“We are saddened by the loss of our beloved Lead Pastor, Tim Parsons," the statement reads. "He was loved by many and he leaves an impactful legacy in the lives of thousands of people. We are grateful that he is now in the presence of the Savior he loved so deeply and proclaimed so passionately."
Parsons' health rapidly deteriorated after he was diagnosed with the virus on Aug. 9. He was hospitalized a few days later. Congregants prayed earnestly for God to restore the pastor in an online service last week. A day before Parsons’ death was announced, the church embarked on a period of prayer and fasting. They pleaded with God for his healing and a list of other needs.
He leaves behind his wife, Susan, and their three children.
Members and church leaders gathered at the church Thursday to comfort each other while others connected remotely.
Church officials were not immediately available for further comment when contacted by The Christian Post Friday.
In September 2005, Parsons and others planted Center Point Church on the east side of Lexington with the aim to "take everyone we meet one step closer to becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ." Since then, the church has baptized hundreds and is attended by hundreds each week.
Dan DeWitt, founding director of the Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity at Cedarville University in Ohio and a former vice president for communications at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, remembers Parsons as an inspiring professor who encouraged him in college.
“There was a day in my undergrad when one of my professors - who I didn't think really liked me much - pulled me aside and told me he thought God had leadership opportunities for me based on some specific observations he shared with me about my life," Dewitt said in a statement on Facebook Thursday.
"That moment filled my heart with encouragement and vision. Throughout the years Tim Parsons has continued to be that kind of encourager to me. He went to be with Jesus after a battle with COVID. But man, did he live his life. And boy, did he finish strong. Thank you God for Pastor Tim. Father in Heaven, please be with his family and his church.”
Dewitt further announced to his students that he planned on doing all his lessons until Labor Day through Zoom.
“Given the COVID spike on campus, I will be doing all my classes through Zoom until Labor Day. Students, please stay safe. Given the online option, you can stream the class from anywhere for those who feel more comfortable heading home for now,” he explained on Twitter. “No one is more ready for COVID to no longer be a thing than the families of those personally impacted. We can all do our part to make wise decisions that are well-informed and aimed at serving others. Let's care well and stay well.”