The religious community of Mid-Michigan is in mourning after losing prominent members to the coronavirus pandemic in the last week.
A Flint-area bishop and pastor both passed after recently falling ill.
“Well, it hits home obviously when you know someone that was taken from you because of the coronavirus. It hits home and it’s hard. It’s difficult,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said.
The Flint community is mourning the loss of some very respected men in the religious community.
Bishop Robert E. Smith Sr. and Pastor Kevelin B. Jones Sr., with the Bountiful Love Ministries Church of God in Flint, both had their lives cut short by COVID-19.
“He was a wonderful father and husband, pastor to the Bountiful Love Ministries out on Pasadena,” Leyton said.
Jones was a dear friend of Leyton’s.
“A church has lost its leader. Family has lost its rock, heart, soul. Mother Jones is mourning as are his children,” Leyton said.
Leyton said the two met when Jones’ daughter was killed and have worked together in the community ever since.
Jones also introduced Leyton to the Michigan Democratic Convention when he was nominated as attorney general in 2010.
Leyton said these tragedies are heartbreaking and also tell just how dangerous this virus can be.
“I think by the time this passes, a lot of us are going to know someone who has been afflicted by it,” Leyton said.