Amid the highest COVID-19 increase, pastors serving in Florida within the Hispanic community are suffering illnesses while continuing their ministry. Suffering from death and serious illness, many pastors, leaders, and churchgoers are being attacked spiritually while they require prayer during the pandemic worldwide.
According to Baptist Press, on July 2, Tony Salmeron, who pastored Iglesia Bautista Central (Central Baptist Church) in Ocala, died of complications from the coronavirus. He passed at the age of 60. By April, Pastor Moises Abella Diaz of Iglesia Bautista Rescate in the Miami suburb of Hialeah also died of the virus, as FBC reported.
"All pastors that I know have been very careful with their churches to follow protocol for reopening and ministering,"
"But because they are frontline spiritual workers and ministers relating to many people, some have been somehow infected in contact with others who may have been asymptomatic.
Pastor's love for God and other Christians remain bold throughout trials and tribulations.
"It reminds me of the scene of that movie where the young Christian soldier keeps going back to the heat of the battle to rescue wounded soldiers as he prays, 'Lord, help me get one more.' We need to remember we are in a spiritual battle. We need to pray for the Lord to help us get one more person to rescue with the Gospel of Jesus."
Grieving for the loss of Diaz and Salmeron they expressed, "literally gave their lives in the battlefield to save others."
As COVID-19 increases, pastoring has become more difficult as the pandemic surges in the state. The church has decided to return to online-only worship however, there tends to be many concerns.
"The church has always thrived in the middle of trials and tribulations."
"We are grateful for leaders like Emanuel Roque that are constantly encouraging and preparing pastors to face situations like this to harvest souls for the glory of God."
The FBC has encouraged Hispanic congregations during the pandemic, holding ZOOM prayer meetings, providing financial help, and pertinent educational resources including webinars with various experts.
"We ask the extended SBC family for prayers for these and all pastors as they stand in the gap to minister in these times," Roque said. "Love, support, and bless all pastors as they truly try their best to minister in uncharted conditions."