Pastor returns to preach first sermon after being hospitalized 100 days for COVID-19

Jonathan Mitchell, pastor of Faith Fellowship Church of God, returns to church after being released from the hospital.
Jonathan Mitchell, pastor of Faith Fellowship Church of God, returns to church after being released from the hospital. | Screenshot: WKBN

After 100 consecutive days of hospitalization due to the COVID-19 disease, a 69-year-old pastor in Ohio came back to his congregation on Sunday to preach a sermon.

Jonathan Mitchell, the pastor of Faith Fellowship Church of God in Youngstown who was put on a respirator for 30 days and kept in the ICU for another month while in hospital, was back in his church Sunday to preach his first sermon in a long time, WKBN reported.

“This is my life, I can’t [do] nothing else. This is my life and I honor God and thank Him for this opportunity and that the church still wants me,” Mitchell said.

The pastor was discharged from the hospital on July 15. On his way back home, he was told they would stop by the church to pick up mail. But many members were waiting in the church to greet him, the newspaper reported earlier.

“My goodness, my heart is overwhelmed. We love you, we love you. My heart is overwhelmed with joy,” he was quoted as saying at the time. “My church, look at ’em. I taught ’em to love for five years. Look at ’em. They’re lovers.”

He also joked, “I’m a different man. COVID gave me curly, wavy hair.”

Recalling his time in the hospital, Mitchell said, “A nurse come to me and said they lost me two times, said they called me the miracle man.” He added that he lost hope at one point but God reminded him of the first commandment: “Have you loved me today?”

In April, a Virginia pastor, Kenny Baldwin of Crossroads Baptist Church in Fairfax County, shared with his congregation, after he was released from the hospital, that he had severe and horrific symptoms of COVID-19 and that he cried out to God for “a chance.”

“The doctor basically said with this disease you’re going to get worse fast or you’re going to hold on and eventually get better, and we don’t know which one it will be,” he said at the time. “I was begging, God, please just give me a chance. Please get me through this.”

He said all he had was the Lord. “I saw God and experienced Him in a way like never before and He reminded me that His promises are true and that His word stands and that He never leaves or forsakes us.”

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