Immediately after returning to the pulpit from his very near-death experience, Gateway Church Pastor Robert Morris knew he had to make a difference to save lives. Members of the megachurch in Southlake, Texas, gathered to take part in a record-breaking blood drive that can save up to 4,600 lives.
Since his return to the pulpit on June 2, a month after he nearly died due to internal bleeding, he has been encouraging his church to donate blood, stressing, “Someone giving blood is what saved my life.”
When Morris passed out in late April, paramedics discovered he was bleeding internally. The pastor said he felt the Lord’s presence while he was being life flighted to the hospital on a helicopter.
“I didn’t go to Heaven, but the Lord’s presence filled the helicopter and I felt like I was about to go to Heaven,” Morris said. He recalled telling God, “If this is it, I’m ready to come, but I’d like to stay for my family. I just don’t think you’re finished with me yet on Earth.”
Doctors at the hospital discovered Morris had lost over half of his blood, and he had a large hematoma.
After the traumatic experience, over 1,500 Gateway members responded at Gateway’s six campuses. Carter BloodCare in Texas revealed that so much blood was collected, it could save upwards of 4,600 lives.
Linda Goelzer, director of public relations at Carter BloodCare, told a local news outlet that the consistency has been unreal. “We have been able to help some other community blood centers, when we’re usually at the point of asking others.”
Goelzer told the Christian Post that out of all church blood drives their facility has been involved with, Gateway Church broke the record for the duration of the drive and the total response, with 13 drives total.
The church was originally planning on hosting the blood drive in April, as Morris was hospitalized, but decided to hold the event in June because “there is a greater need for blood in the summer.”