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. Two days after the local news reports, 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.