Rich Wilkerson Jr., the pastor of Vous Church in Miami, has asked supporters to pray as the newest addition to his family, Waylon Wesley Wilkerson, remains in the newborn intensive care unit following her birth.
Wilkerson, who shot to popularity after he officiated the wedding of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian in 2014, revealed on Instagram that his daughter, born in July, was having trouble breathing.
“This is my daughter. Never knew a love like this,” the pastor captioned a photo of Waylon. “Keep praying for Waylon, she was admitted into the NICU due to trouble breathing. We are fully confident she’s fine but praying for her breathing and for her stay in NICU to be brief. Grateful for the incredible care she’s receiving!”
The 37-year-old pastor revealed that he and his wife, DawnCheré, were able to hold their newborn daughter shortly after her birth. The pastor said the experience strengthened his faith and got him "excited" to preach at Vous Church the following Sunday.
“We got to hold Waylon today. Thank you so much for your prayers, they are working. Our faith is high,” he wrote.
“Little by little my girl is getting better. Thank you for your prayers. The best 4th of July of my entire life," he captioned the photo.
DawnCheré also took to social media to share updates on the baby and celebrate her husband’s commitment to their family. She revealed that Wilkerson slept on the hospital couch, went to church to preach, visited their two sons at home, played with them and then returned to the hospital to hold his baby girl. DawnCheré said her husband's strength “shines” in times of difficulty.
Though Waylon is making progress, Wilkerson asked for continued prayers as the infant remains in the hospital.
“They will continue to monitor her for a couple of days in NICU. We are celebrating the progress. Keep praying until she is home with us," he wrote.
The couple is also parents to two boys, Wyatt, born in 2018, and Wilde, born in 2019.
The Wilkersons previously starred in "Rich in Faith," a reality TV show that chronicled their lives and ministry. On the show, the duo opened up about their eight-year struggle to have a baby.
"The cool thing about that show was, my wife and I were so open about our journey that a lot of people walked through it with us," Wilkerson told The Christian Post in a previous interview. "When a miracle did show up, people around the world were able to rejoice with us."
At the time, Wilkerson encouraged others battling infertility to remember that a "waiting season doesn't have to be a wasted season."
"I think people think, 'Oh, if I could just get pregnant, I'd be happy.' That's just not the truth. Whatever season you're in, you can learn and grow and improve," he said. "Discover who Jesus is and find full satisfaction in Him."
"I would encourage those going through infertility to talk to someone about it as well," he continued. "People deal with shame and thinking they're inadequate, and if you harbor those thoughts and feelings they begin to fester. I think it's important to talk to someone. Know you're not alone."
In a 2018 interview with People magazine, DawnCheré revealed she was told on her 25th birthday that she would have trouble conceiving.
"I honestly thought the doctor was wrong. I never dreamed it would take eight years before we heard the words, 'You're pregnant,'" she recalled.
Though admitting the long wait put a strain on their marriage, the Wilkersons said they held onto their faith and kept trying.
"Waiting isn't easy but it doesn't have to destroy your marriage," Wilkerson told People. "We never made our relationship center around having a child."
"We had a lot of time where we wondered if it was going to happen," he added. "There were a lot of disappointments along the way. We had to learn to deal with the setbacks, which was really hard."