LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — Jeff Fuson, the founder and pastor of Phos Community Church, has died from the coronavirus, according to a social media post by his family and church officials.
Fuson, 56, passed away Saturday after battling the virus for several weeks, the Crestwood, Kentucky, church announced via Facebook.
On July 11, Fuson posted that he was hospitalized with the respiratory disease.
"I am in a fight like you would never wanna be in," he wrote in the post. "I’m toe to toe in the ring with this invisible enemy that sucker punches me right to the lungs and takes my breathe away."
Fuson also urged church members and friends to "take the disease seriously," wear a mask in public, social distance and stay home as much as possible.
"I'm telling you this is already way tougher than I ever thought I'd have to go through," he wrote.
Phos Community Church said it will gather virtually at 9:30 a.m. Sunday to grieve the loss of Fuson. The church announced it was going back to online services only on July 11, following Fuson's COVID-19 diagnosis and due to increasing cases in Oldham County.
As of Saturday, 546 Oldham County residents have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to a report from Kentucky Public Health. Gov. Andy Beshear's office on Saturday reported three new virus-related deaths in the county: men ages 55, 61 and 67.
Fuson founded Phos Community Church is 2008. Prior to that, he served for nearly 20 years at Crestwood Baptist Church.
"We will also gather to worship," church officials said in a Facebook post about Sunday's service. "That is exactly what Jeff will be doing — and we will join him."