43-year-old pastor with ‘gift to preach’ dies after COVID diagnosis, NC church says

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A North Carolina pastor with a “gift” for preaching was in a hospital for weeks with COVID-19, his church said.

Kermit Wilson Jr., the leader of New Life Ministries in Greensboro, was placed in intensive care for 41 days. While he was on a ventilator, his congregation took to social media to call for prayers of healing.

“There are so many of you who love and care for Kermit and have been reaching out to me for updates on his condition,” the church wrote Sept. 11 on Facebook.

Six days later, Wilson died while surrounded by loved ones. He was 43 years old, according to his obituary.

The pastor is remembered for his “strong desire to motivate, educate, and equip people through the Word of God,” Lea Funeral Home in Raleigh said on its website.

“He accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior as a teenager and realized his calling and gift to preach the Word of God through his experience in preaching during youth services,” his obituary said.

Wilson, who was born in Florida, joined New Life Ministries while he was getting a master’s degree at North Carolina A&T State University. He most recently lived in Cary, a town just west of Raleigh, the church said on its website.

Wilson leaves behind a wife and three children, according to his obituary.

The pastor was diagnosed with COVID-19 more than a month before his death, his church wrote on Facebook. He spent some of his final days in the ICU at WakeMed hospital’s Cary location.

Wilson’s obituary didn’t say whether he had been vaccinated against the coronavirus, and his family didn’t immediately provide that information to McClatchy News on Thursday afternoon.

New Life Ministries said a “home going celebration” for the pastor will be streamed live on its Facebook page. The program is scheduled for noon on Sept. 25.

“Due to COVID safety precautions to protect Kermit’s family, the in-person celebration will be limited to ceremony participants,” the church wrote in a Facebook post.

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