A member of Congress has honored a Florida pastor who died from COVID-19 after being hospitalized with complications from the virus on the same day that she had been scheduled to get her first vaccination.
Pastor Sheila J. Spencer of the Time of Refreshing Christian Worship Center in Orlando passed away at age 63 after a battle with COVID-19 that lasted around two weeks.
Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., took to Twitter on Tuesday to confirm Spencer's passing. She described the late pastor as “a dynamic woman of God who preached and followed God’s word with precision.”
“From the beginning of my time as chief of police and as a member of Congress, Pastor Spencer covered my steps with prayer,” tweeted Demings.
“May her beautiful and powerful presence and the fruits of her labor comfort her family, congregation, and all of us who knew and loved her.”
Omeal Reid, senior pastor at Kingdom Prophetic Church of Kissimmee, Florida, offered his condolences in a statement posted to Facebook on Sunday.
“I was 16 years old when I met her. She prophesied into my life and told me that God was going to send me to the nations and that the prophetic anointing will be great on my life,” said Reid.
“She told me I would travel the world and preach, every word she has spoken into my life has come to pass. She was God's Prophetess indeed and a woman after God's own heart. Rest in heaven.”
Initially, Spencer had been reportedly hesitant to get the vaccine, but eventually decided to get vaccinated. She contracted COVID-19 days before she was scheduled to get her first shot.
On the day she was supposed to be vaccinated, Spencer was instead rushed to the hospital with severe symptoms, and was put on a ventilator for several days.
Late last month, while Spencer was still at Orlando Health Dr. P. Phillips Hospital, family and members of her church held a vigil outside, with prayers and music.
Meka Davis, Spencer’s daughter, told Fox 35 Orlando at the vigil that the situation “did hit really hard at home with us,” but added that “we do know she’s a fighter.”
“We’re all here to pray. We’re just better together. I believe she knows we’re out here praying for her and we’re just waiting on that call to know she’s awake,” said Davis last month.