Hillsong Church Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston announced the death of Stephen Harmon, who attended Hillsong, Calif., On social media this week.
Harmon had said on social media that he would not receive the vaccine, even when he was battling Covid-19 in a hospital this month.
“Stephen was just a young man in his thirties,” wrote Houston, announcing Harmon’s death on social media. “He was one of the most generous people I know and he had so much ahead of him. “
Houston expanded on her social media posts in a statement to CNN, saying “Any loss of life is a time to mourn and offer support to those in pain and so our heartfelt prayers go out to her family and those who are suffering. liked ”.
“Although many of our employees, leaders and congregations have already received the Covid-19 vaccine, we recognize that this is a personal decision that each individual must make with the advice of healthcare professionals,” says the Houston press release.
Hillsong Church, founded in Australia, has congregations around the world. Harmon attended Hillsong in Los Angeles, CNN affiliate KCBS reported.
CNN has asked the Harmon family for comment but has not received a response.
Before saying he was infected with Covid-19, Harmon posted two messages on Twitter on June 3 in which he parodied Jay-Z’s “99 problems” words – saying he had 99 problems but that “one vax ”was not.
A little over a month later, Harmon developed pneumonia from a Covid-19 infection and was sitting on a hospital bed in a Covid ward, according to his Instagram posts.
He had been hospitalized for complications from Covid-19 since at least June 30, according to his social media posts. Throughout his hospitalizations, social media posts show Harmon kept in frequent contact with Houston.
Even in the hospital, Harmon was adamant that he would not get the vaccine, stating that he was not “anti-vax” but that he was “information savvy.”
“I’m not against it, I’m just in no rush to get it,” he wrote in a July 8 Instagram post. “Ironically, as I continue to lie down here (…)
He added that he would not receive a vaccine even after he recovered.
“Biden’s door-to-door vaccine ‘investigators’ should really call themselves JaCovid witnesses. #keepmovingdork, ”Harmon wrote the same day on Twitter.
On Friday, after the announcement of his death, Harmon’s Instagram account was made private.
CNN’s Jason Hanna contributed to this report.