COVID-19 takes life of Tulare church bishop

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- On the night of March 27, Michael Grogan was at the hospital when he learned he tested positive for COVID-19.

The senior pastor at Abundant Life Center in Tulare had a temperature of 104 degrees.

His wife Tiffany also tested positive for the disease, along with her sister and her parents. Grogan decided to go home, quarantine, and try to fight the virus on his own.

By the following Thursday, he was back at the hospital. He would spend the next five days there.

"There came a point where I felt like God was going to take me," Grogan said. "And I was ok with that. I said, 'God you can take my body.' I said, 'I'm ready to meet you.' I said, 'Just take care of my family and friends, and my church and my community.'"

Grogan's condition eventually improved.

He credits his turnaround to the heroic work of the doctors and nurses at Kaweah Delta, the many people who prayed for him, and God.

On Tuesday night, he went home. He knew his father-in-law and current church Bishop Ron Abbott was still at the hospital, fighting an even bigger battle against COVID-19.

On Wednesday night, family members were asked to say their goodbyes on a FaceTime call.

"He's a giver, he's a lover," Grogan said. "Forty-seven years he's given to our community. And he's a pillar of this community."

On Thursday, family members learned Abbott had passed away. He was 72.

"I know he is now resting in the arms of God," Abbott's wife said.

Grogan knows there are better days to come.

In the meantime, he has a simple message to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"Wear your mask, wear your gloves, and don't go out if you don't need to," he said.

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