Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, a liberal church in Houston, Texas, is now grieving one of its associate pastors who died from the new coronavirus Friday because her heart was “just too weak” to fight the disease.
Vickey Gibbs, 57, died Friday morning just two days after she was rushed to a local hospital, Rev. Troy Treash, RMCC’s senior pastor, said in an announcement on Facebook.
“With a heavy heart, we share with you that our beloved Resurrection family member and Associate Pastor Reverend Vickey Gibbs succumbed to the COVID-19 virus at 7:31 am Central time on Friday, July 10. She had been taken to the emergency room on Wednesday, diagnosed with pneumonia, and placed on a ventilator. The doctors said her heart was just too weak to fight the infection,” Treash said.
“Please keep Cassandra and their daughters Cara and Ariel, along with their precious grandchild Xavier in your prayers. We will let you know as we know any further information on a memorial service and any requests from the family,” Gibbs’ pastor noted.
Treash, in lamenting his colleague, cited Scripture from Romans: “I can only think of Paul’s letter to the Romans: ‘Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.’ (Romans 8:26).”
Pat Langlois, senior pastor at MCC United Church of Christ in the Valley, in California, expressed her shock about Gibbs’ passing in a post on her Facebook page.
“I read about her passing moments before I went into a meeting today and it was rather difficult to keep it together. I am in utter shock. A beautiful colleague, Rev. Vickey Gibbs, is now an angel. But I will add...those who mock this disease and who do not take it seriously...stop it! Just stop it! We do not have to lose any one else,” she said.
Writing in a group established on Facebook for those who knew her to share memories, Jim Winslett said Gibbs was a peacemaker.
“If you want to know what kind of person Vickey was, scroll down the list of members in this group. Notice that there are people of every color, every gender, every socio-economic background, and people from places far and near to her home. She brought unity, not division. She removed walls that others built. She looked beyond labels and saw people. We need more like her,” he wrote.
Resurrection Church is part of the Metropolitan Community Churches, which was founded in 1968 and advocates for LGBT rights and equality.
Correction: July 16, 2020:
An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that Gibbs’ same-sex spouse, Cassandra White, was hospitalized with COVID-19. Resurrection MCC confirmed to The Christian Post that White was never hospitalized and has not experienced any COVID-related symptoms.