Tim Parsons, the lead pastor at Center Point Church in Lexington, tested positive for the coronavirus about two weeks ago and was hospitalized Aug. 13. He died Thursday morning.
“He was loved by many and he leaves an impactful legacy in the lives of thousands of people,” Center Point said on its Facebook page. “We are grateful that he is now in the presence of the Savior he loved so deeply and proclaimed so passionately. We know that we are all heartbroken and need each other in this time.”
Todd Gray, executive director-treasurer of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, praised Parsons for the kingdom impact he made on so many lives.
“Pastor Tim Parsons will be remembered as a man of God who invested personally in other people,” Gray said. “Only Heaven can tell the number of lives that have been profoundly impacted through his own. We are saddened by this passing and continue to pray for his family and Center Point Church.”
Other members of the Lexington’s faith community also mourned Parsons’ passing.
“Our hearts are heavy today for our beloved friends and neighbors @centerpointchurch, as their lead pastor, Tim Parsons, has passed,” Immanuel Baptist Church posted on Facebook. “Tim was loved by many and his love for the Lord reminds us that even in times of great loss, God is so good.”
“Tim was an enthusiastic and passionate follower of Jesus Christ. He preached the word faithfully and was an effective pastor,” said Andy McDonald, KBC regional consultant for the northcentral area. “They drew a lot of college students to Center Point. There are churches and pastors that have come out of Center Point. It has a rich heritage of multiplying leadership.”
David Stokes, the lead mission strategist for the Central Kentucky Network of Baptists, paid tribute to his friend.
“Pastor Tim was a passionate disciple and pastor,” he said. “He loved the Lord, his family, his church family, and making disciples. He unselfishly invested into pastors and leaders. His impact will continue to grow as those he discipled, disciple others. He was my value and trusted friend who made me a better leader and follower of Christ.”
Rob Patterson, the evangelism team leader for the KBC, said Parsons ult a culture of multiplication from the beginning as a planting pastor.
“I do not personally know of any pastor more committed to one-on-one discipleship and mentoring than Tim was,” Patterson said. “On just about any Wednesday, you could have found him at the Panera Bread on Richmond Road discipling one person after another for the bulk of the day. Those 2 Timothy 2:2 investments are why pastor Tim’s legacy will continue having exponential impact for years to come.”
The funeral will be Monday at Center Point Church. Visitation is from noon to 2 p.m. with the funeral at 2 p.m.
Parsons’ death came as churches continue to grapple with how to lead their respective congregations in times of Covid-19. This includes advice about whether or not to accept coronavirus vaccines. Church preachers in Bible Belt states like Kentucky, however, have remained silent on vaccinations.
None of the pastors want to offend their religious communities, regardless of their own stance on getting the jab themselves, the Associated Press reported. “I would say that the vast majority are paralyzed or silent because of how polarized it has been,” theologian Curtis Chang, who has pastored churches and a Duke Divinity School faculty member, told the AP.
As for the Center Point Church, in a frequently asked questions section on its website, one of the topics reads, “Should I be worried about Covid-19?”
In response, the site states: “We don’t want to be worried because the Bible tells us not to worry. We know that God is in control and that He can use all suffering to draw people to Himself. We do want to be wise by practicing what the CDC calls ‘safe distancing.’ We can also look for opportunities to turn Coronavirus conversations into gospel conversations.”