Update from the son of Pastor Fred Thomas: “It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of my father Pastor Fred Thomas. This was not our will or desire, but it is the will of God in which we accept. Please pray for my family and I as we go through this trying time of loss. All will be well and we will make it through this as he would have wanted us to. Arrangements will be announced.”

Word spread fast that McKinney Pastor Fred Thomas had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and put into a medically-induced coma shortly after his diagnosis last week. Headlines soon appeared online. “McKinney Pastor in Medically Induced Coma Days After Testing Positive for COVID-19,” NBC5 wrote. “McKinney pastor, comedian hospitalized with COVID-19 complications placed in medically-induced coma,” announced the Dallas Morning News.

Everyone in this part of the county knows him as “Pastor Fred.” 

On his Facebook page, Pastor Fred lists that he is a pastor and comedian at Laugh Out Loud Church. Officially, he is the pastor and founder of the Word of Faith Church in McKinney. He is also the president and founder of Heart to Soul Evangelistic Outreaches Ministries. More than 61,000 people follow his daily social media posts.

“You’re healing, your testimony is going to bless somebody else,” Pastor Fred said in an Aug. 9 Facebook Live interview with comedian Rickey Smiley. “Somebody is sitting at home right now, looking at this live and just got news that they just got cancer. But because you’ve been healed, they got a little hope tonight. They can go to bed when they haven’t been able to go to sleep. They can go to sleep knowing that if I can just hold on a little while longer, that if I can keep the faith, God is going to make a way with me.” 

Now his loved ones and followers are seeking prayers for him. Pastor Fred is currently in critical but stable condition.

“Today, Fred is back on 100 percent oxygen,” Desiree Wyatt Thomas posted on her Facebook page. “He is still holding his own, sedated and on the ventilator. His body is still fighting and for that, I am thankful. We serve a God of miracles, signs and wonders. I’m expecting a miracle.”

As of this writing, COVID-19 has infected more than 16.4 million people in the U.S. and killed more than 300,000. About 1.48 million people have been infected in Texas. More than 24,500 have been died. 

Originally from Greenville, Pastor Fred was born to a disabled mother. He wrote on Facebook that doctors didn’t think she would be able to carry a child to full term. She spent 16 years of his life with him before she passed away in 1990.

Pastor Fred spent his life in the church, where each week, he would sing at various programs and functions. In 1991, he began touring the globe with recording artist Carolyn Traylor.

After a long tenure with Traylor, Pastor Fred formed his own singing group. He began performing with the Williams Brothers, the Keynotes, and many other recording artists. He then took what he called a leap of faith. He started touring with award-winning artist and songwriter Greg Oquin.

Soon, Pastor Fred discovered his passion for the recording business. He began working with various record labels until he returned home to play for churches. He served as Minister of Music at Shiloh Church of God in Christ as well as pastor for the New Beginnings Church of God in Christ in Wolfe City, Texas, for more than three years.

Pastor Fred started feeling ill on Tuesday, Dec. 8, and tested positive for COVID-19. On Thursday, hospital staff put him in a medically-induced coma.

Two days later, his wife gave his followers an update on Facebook:

“He continues to be heavily sedated, on a ventilatory and unable to speak. He needs prayers for God to clear his lungs of the pneumonia and touch his kidneys. COVID has attacked his body. I ask for prayer for his team of caregivers as they make decisions about his needs. Due to Fred having so many people who love and care about him, I will be updating his page at least once daily on his progress.”

About 1,000 people posted comments of encouragement in response to Desiree’s update. 

“Fred Thomas, Hang in there my friend!” wrote one commenter. “You have a lot of people pulling and praying for you!!! Des stay encouraged. We’re pulling and praying for you too! GOD IS A HEALER!!!” 

Desiree had recently tested positive for COVID-19, but she said that she believes her faith will help them through this tribulation, according to a NBC5 Dec. 13 report.  

“COVID-19 is real and some people don’t realize how real it is until it hits home,” she told NBC5. “It has hit my home in a very devastating way. I just pray that everybody would take this seriously and just know that this situation is really real. Don’t let it have to hit your home for you to take it seriously.”

In other words, wear a mask and practice social distancing. 

Shortly after NBC5 and Dallas Morning News published their reports, Desiree posted on update for her husband’s followers on Facebook:

“Today, I was blessed to go into his room virtually and talk with him,” she said in the Dec. 14 update. “I am happy to say Life is still running through his veins. Thank you, Jesus. His kidneys are doing some work to pull off the fluid and producing significant amounts of urine, his BP is stable and so is his blood sugar. The doctors say they are just following his lead. He will have a long recovery and plenty of stories to tell when this over. Keep your prayers coming.”

If you’d like to leave a message of hope for Pastor Fred, you can follow his Facebook page here.

Christian McPhate

Christian McPhate is the managing editor of Local Profile. He has been working as a journalist for more than a decade. His work has appeared in a number of publications, including the Dallas Morning News,...