HOUSTON - Two local churches in Galveston County are now mourning the loss of their pastors, who died battling Covid-19.
In a livestream video posted to the ACTS Christian Church Facebook page, Pastor Rick Cortez can be heard delivering one of his beloved sermons.
Over the weekend, Pastor Cortez and Pastor Darrell Boone of Life Pointe Church in Hitchcock died after contracting COVID-19.
Parishioners say the virus has now spread to almost half of the Life Pointe Church congregation.
"Brother Boone had closed it when everyone became positive and to try and keep everybody safe as long as possible," said Lainey Gardner.
"It was a very hard pill for my kids to swallow when we found out Sunday," said Ashley Taylor, a family friend of Pastor Boone.
Ashley Taylor has known Pastor Boone for 17 years.
The 55-year-old and his wife didn’t have kids of their own but instead, unofficially adopted several from the community, serving as grandparent figures to many.
"They claimed my children as their grandchildren. They called them Gigi and Papi. This was the first death that was close to us that we knew personally that passed away due to COVID and it hits very hard. He was way too young to go and we don’t understand," Taylor said.
"He and I were texting last Wednesday and he told me he contracted COVID. He said it hurts a lot. He said all the way down to the bones. He said I’ve never felt this kind of pain," said Hitchcock Police Chief Wilmond Smith.
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Chief Smith says his last exchange with Pastor Boone was disheartening as he revealed his many plans, goals, and dreams of the life he hoped to build in that community.
"He said as soon as he was eligible, he would be getting the shot. He was very adamant and very clear that look. This is not something that you want to deal with I’m going to get the shot as soon as I’m eligible and of course, I got the bad news Sunday that he passed," Smith said.
Once again, Life Pointe Church in Hitchcock has been closed for over a week because several of its members ended up contracting COVID-19.
However, the church will be hosting a service on Wednesday evening so the community can pray for those who are recovering.