A Michigan pastor has died of complications from contracting coronavirus, just days after sharing an inspiring testimony of defeating Covid-19.
Pastor David Ford, 59, of the Friendship House of Prayer in Lansing, who was also the father of nine children, had celebrated his recovery from coronavirus just days before his tragic passing.
The Mayor of Lansing, Andy Schor, had also been celebrating the pastor's recovery, but instead now that celebration has turned to mourning.
Schor released a statement on his social media page: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Pastor Ford of Friendship House of Prayer. He was a wonderful friend to me and the city of Lansing."
He added, "I spoke with him just last week and he shared an incredible story as a survivor of COIVD-19. The passing of Pastor Ford is a tremendous loss to the church, to me personally as a friend and to the city of Lansing.
"My thoughts are with him, his family, his friends and his congregation during this difficult time."
Schor also testified that Pastor Ford's story of survival had been touching. He told WILX that the pastor's testimony had been "quite exceptional."
He added, "He was telling me he was on a ventilator, breathing fire, in bad shape and laying on ice, but he was able to come through it."
"He wanted to share his story so people will know what it was like to battle this virus and not lose faith."
Pastor Ford had tested positive for coronavirus in late March and suffered severe symptoms. He was admitted to hospital for seven days, but started to feel better and was eventually discharged and sent home.
The Sunday after being discharged, Pastor Ford preached a message about the resurrection from his home.
Sadly that sermon would prove to be his last before being called home to the Lord.
He started feeling sick again, and this time his condition deteriorated quickly. He passed away soon after.
Mayor Schor lamented, "It was shocking. I was sad, I was angry, I was upset that my friend who was a leader in Lansing succumbed to this after surviving."
Pastor Ford's cousin, JoAnn Bell, left this message: "Please pray for David's Wife Cassandra Ford and the Entire Ford Family ..........Our Cousin Pastor David Ford made his Transition yesterday to be with the Lord, he surely earned his wings a long time ago, ...however, we just wasn't ready for him to leave us so soon."
She added, "If you really knew Pastor David Ford, you couldn't help but LOVE HIM AS WHO HE WAS.... and how he loved the Lord, his wife, his children, and his family and church family, & friends. He could really sing and play that piano/ organ, and preaching under the anointing of God. He was really somebody. Please lift his wife up in prayer as she loved her husband tremendously! My heart is broke into pieces!"
One of the church's congregants, Sylvia Hatcher, wrote in Pastor Ford's obituary: "Pastor David Ford was the most gentle, kind, loving person that I've known. He was a great pastor and I will miss him very much. He did a lot for the community and he loved the Friendship House of Prayer Baptist Church family.
"I love him and I will never forget him. My sincere condolences to Cassandra, Davona and the entire Ford family."
He leaves behind his wife, Cassandra Ford, and nine children. In the aftermath of the tragic passing of her husband, Cassandra testified, "I know God is still in control and that is the only this I can hold on to."