Six members of Impact Church in Jacksonville, Florida, passed away from COVID-19 in the space of 10 days. All of them were healthy. Four of them were under 35. None of them were vaccinated.
“I’m tired of crying,” declared the church’s pastor George Davis. And now, he’s trying to do something about it. While between 15 and 20 more members of his church remain hospitalized from COVID-19, Davis is hosting vaccination events in his church, doling out free doses of Pfizer to anyone who wants them.
“These are actual people that I know, that I’ve pastored. One 24-year-old kid – I’ve known him since he was a toddler,” Davis told local reporters. “All I know is [that] my heart and 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.”
Florida has been rocked by a new wave of the Delta variant, a particularly contagious strain of COVID-19. According to the Florida Hospital Association, 95 percent of COVID-related hospitalizations are among the not fully vaccinated. While about 71 percent of the adult population have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine, the nation has struggled to convince the vaccine-hesitant and vaccine-refusing to get the jab. However, studies show that faith leaders are among the most effective advocates for vaccinations among people who aren’t sure about them. That’s why stories like Davis’ are so important.
“Dear Father God. Thank you for the wisdom and insight you’ve given to the scientists and medical community to be able to develop a vaccine that is effective against this hideous virus,” Davis tweeted. “For the many of us who have been praying for a resolution, we thank you for providing one.”
“I now humbly ask you to help us all weed through the bickering, finger-pointing, partisan politics, fear, religious extremism, and conspiracy theories to see the gift that lies in front of us,” he continued. “Please speak to the hearts of those who are truly seeking guidance to help them see whether it is or is not your will for them to be vaccinated. And help us to all come together with reasonable hearts to do what is best for one another. I ask this in Jesus’s Name!!!! Amen!!!”