David Ford, a beloved Michigan pastor, longtime UPS driver and father of nine who friends say shared an inspiring testimony about beating the new coronavirus, died Tuesday of complications from the disease. He was 59.
Ford, who led the Friendship House of Prayer in Lansing for several years, is now being mourned by his family and many in his community like Lansing Mayor Andy Schor who had already began celebrating his recovery.
“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Pastor Ford of Friendship House of Prayer. He was a wonderful friend to me and the city of Lansing. I spoke with him just last week and he shared an incredible story as a survivor of COIVD-19. The passing of Pastor Ford is a tremendous loss to the church, to me personally as a friend and to the city of Lansing. My thoughts are with him, his family, his friends and his congregation during this difficult time,” Schor said in a statement on Facebook Thursday.
Schor further told WILX that Ford’s survivor story was quite exceptional.”
“He was telling me he was on a ventilator, breathing fire, in bad shape and laying on ice, but he was able to come through it,” the mayor said. “He wanted to share his story so people will know what it was like to battle this virus and not lose faith.”
Bishop David Maxwell, a ministry colleague, told news station WILX that the late pastor had tested positive for the coronavirus in late March and was admitted to Beaumont Hospital for seven days. He started feeling better and was subsequently discharged to go home.
“He was excited, as ever, looking forward to preaching the Gospel and thankful to be home,” Maxwell said.
On Sunday, however, Ford preached from his home about the resurrection in what would be his final sermon.
Ford’s family told WILX that the pastor started feeling ill again and quickly died.