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‘I am going to miss the laughs:’ Children of pastor who died of COVID-19 remember their father

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 9:03 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - We hear from some of the children of a well-known Jackson pastor and community leader who died from Covid-19 complications this weekend. They tell 3 On Your Side they are shocked and saddened by their father’s sudden death.

“I thought it was just game. I thought it was a game. Now, I see that it’s nothing to play with.”

Darius Friday and his sister Erin Slaughter admit they would hear about COVID-19 and how it killed so many people, but it never really hit home until Saturday when they got the heartbreaking news that their father, Pastor Earnest Slaughter passed away from COVID-19 complications.

“I had never lost anybody, so it is different and for it to be my dad. Right now, I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it,” said Erin Slaughter.

Slaughter was 53-years-old, and pastored the New Canney Creek Missionary Baptist Church for more than 25 years.

He was also a business, community and civic leader in Jackson. He ran for a Jackson City Council seat in 2017.

His children say when he became ill two weeks ago, they knew something was wrong.

“I knew he had went to the doctor more than two times to get tested and they was like negative, negative, and when he told me he was finally positive it was unbelievable. He couldn’t hardly breath and was coughing.”

His children say he was hospitalized last week, and they never saw their dad alive again.

Friday morning, he had went on the ventilator, and Saturday they were calling me to tell me my dad had passed,” said Friday.

“I am going to miss the laughs and everything, but we had a good talk before he left though,” said Slaughter.

Slaughter’s children say COVID-19 is taking negative impact on communities a growing rate especially communities of color. They warn people to please do what they can to stay safe and COVID free.

“Take care of yourself, mask up, social distance because COVID-19 real serious. I never thought it would hit this hard.”

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