Ricky Texada Covenant Church
Ricky Texada, senior pastor of multi-site Covenant Church in Carrollton, Texas, died on August 30 following a weeks-long battle with COVID-19. (Photo: Covenant Church / YouTube)

Dallas-Area Megachurch Pastor Dies After Contracting COVID

By Josh Shepherd

Ricky Texada, senior pastor of Covenant Church—a multisite megachurch in the Dallas, Texas, area with an attendance around 7,000—died on Monday after a weeks-long battle with COVID-19. He was 57 years old.

“Our beloved Pastor fought to the very end,” the church stated on Facebook. “At 11:32 this morning, he entered eternity and met his great love, Jesus, face to face. We are honored and grateful for all of you who so faithfully and earnestly fought alongside him.”

A multi-ethnic, charismatic church, Covenant has four campuses in the Dallas area and serves as the flagship congregation of Churches in Covenant, a nationwide network of about 50 churches.

According to social posts, Texada was admitted to a local hospital during the week of August 15. The church reported he entered the hospital with COVID pneumonia and had been placed on a ventilator in the ICU, as his oxygen levels were “dangerously low.” It was not disclosed if Texada had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

He is survived by his wife, Cyd, and their two sons, Seth and Caleb. While many friends and family were still in shock by the news, some took to social media to pay tribute.

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His brother Keith Texada, who lives in the Dallas area with his family, tweeted: “Rest well my brother. I will miss our morning football talks (and) family gatherings. You had such an impact on this world.  A part of me is gone.”

Covenant Church founding pastor Mike Hayes wrote: “Today, Heaven was enriched and we were left trusting God and grieving the passing of @RickyTexada… One of the greatest men I’ve known. @CovLive will move forward as one, but he will never be forgotten.”

Similarly, Brooke Ninowski, a 30-something lifelong member of the church, wrote: “My heart grieves so. One of the truest men I’ve known to model the Gospel and walk out the love of Jesus towards others. His simple yet anchored faith in Jesus is something that will echo in my life and I know so many others.”

Texada also impacted leaders far from his north Texas home. Jay Valai, on the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football coaching staff under Nick Saban, tweeted: “Rest In Peace to Pastor Ricky Texada. His Spiritual impact on us & leading my family through our toughest days will always be felt through our souls.”

The coach added Ecclesiastes 7:1, which reads: “A good name is better than fine perfume, and one’s day of death is better than his day of birth.”

“Not the end we would’ve chosen”

For the past two weeks, Covenant Church has mobilized its members to pray and fast for Texada’s healing and recovery.

The church’s social post announcing Texada’s passing referred to this prayer initiative: “This is not the end we would have chosen BUT our trust is in our God Most High. We do not mourn as those who have no hope!”

Reportedly, church staff have surrounded Cyd Texada and their family in prayer and support, notably including Hayes and his wife, Kathy, and their daughter Amie Dockery who leads the women’s ministry.

On social media, Ricky Texada often praised his two sons who are both student athletes. His eldest, Seth, competes on the track and field team at University of Texas-Arlington. Caleb Texada is team captain for Grapevine High School’s football team.

According to a social post from his mother Cyd, last week Caleb saw his father in the hospital. Following his brief visit, Caleb went back out to support his team and scored a highlight touchdown. An announcer later called him “the heart and soul” of the team.

For over 30 years, Texada has served on-staff at the megachurch, starting in 1990 when he was youth minister for what was then known as Faith World. He was ordained as a minister in 1997. He and his wife, Cyd, were married in 1998. In 2006, he became campus pastor when Covenant Church in Carrollton expanded to a second location in nearby Colleyville.

Texada is the author of “My Breaking Point, God’s Turning Point,” published by Bethany House in 2014. The book recounts the loss of his first wife, Debra, in 1996, following a car accident, and his subsequent testimony.

He was installed as senior pastor of Covenant Church in October 2020. Hayes spoke briefly during that transition service. “We have been through a lot of things together,” he said. “You have been found faithful.”

Freelance journalist Josh Shepherd writes on faith, culture, and public policy for several media outlets. He and his wife live in the Washington, D.C. area with their two children.

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28 thoughts on “Dallas-Area Megachurch Pastor Dies After Contracting COVID”

  1. As the parent of a physician and the mom-in-law of another, I am saddened to see so many Christians impugning doctors for allegedly withholding life-saving care in the interest of financial gain. I sincerely hope that the recommendations mentioned above are effective for the unvaccinated. Hospital beds, oxygen, hospitalists, and nursing staff are increasingly in short supply.

  2. Sad to hear of any loss like this. But , as in so many other stories like this, I have to ask, was he vaccinated? Was his family? Was his church taking precautions? And if not, why not? Vaccination reduces your chance of hospitalization and death by well over 90%. A news story should include this kind of information if at all possible.

    1. My semi-educated guess is that only the son who was allowed to see him in the hospital was vaccinated. That would be the protocol of my local hospital system.

  3. I am a pastor of a sizable Church. I’ve been pastoring for 43 years. Last December I caught covid from a family member in my home. I went into one of the best hospitals in Michigan. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks. They put me on an experimental program that had been approved approved by the Trump Administration. My doctor said that I was 24 hours away from death. I would have been vaccinated but the vaccinations were not available last December. By God’s grace good doctors and the thousands of prayers of God’s people I walked out of the hospital after three weeks. I was home on a recuperating program for 5 weeks. I was back in the pulpit in February. My hospital just gave me a clear bill of health regarding my lungs. I have strongly encouraged all of our people to get vaccinated. A mask can help but cannot stop an infinitesimally small virus. I have to fight fire with fire. No one in my church who has been vaccinated has gone to the hospital or died. The same is true of our Christian School. I have strongly encouraged all of our staff to be vaccinated as well. I wish this pastor would have gotten vaccinated. It probably would have say this life. The virus is indiscriminate.

  4. Tony N,

    “…. Many of them are subject to interpretation. The one that stands out to me is that 98% of the patients in ICU beds are unvaccinated.”

    Do they have Covid? Or are they in the ICU with health issues not related to Covid (other than the fact they aren’t vaccinated)?

    From Science.org

    https://www.science.org/news/2021/08/grim-warning-israel-vaccination-blunts-does-not-defeat-delta

    “As of 15 August, 514 Israelis were hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19, a 31% increase from just 4 days earlier. Of the 514, 59% were fully vaccinated. Of the vaccinated, 87% were 60 or older.”

    59% were fully vaccinated, is this up for interpretation?

    1. Andrew, You are not citing U.S. data regarding COVID hospitalizations and vaccination status.

      Latest data from this nation can be found at this link: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/covid-coronavirus-vaccines-hospital-cases-rates-unvaccinated

      “By late July, a total of about 26 adults per 100,000 vaccinated people had been hospitalized for COVID-19. That’s compared with about 431 hospitalized people for every 100,000 unvaccinated individuals — a rate roughly 17 times as high as for those who were vaccinated. The data come from 13 states, including California, Georgia and Utah.”

      1. Josh S,

        Correct, I am not citing the US data, nowhere in his comment did he list a specific country to his claim of 98% or list a study/report. I am citing data that contradicts his claim, with source and numbers, from Israel which has the most aggressive vaccination program in world at this moment. We should be watching them very closely for any abnormal results and not take what they are reporting lightly.

        “Latest data from this nation can be found at this link: https://www.sciencenews.org/article/covid-coronavirus-vaccines-hospital-cases-rates-unvaccinated

        From your source:

        “The data come from 13 states, including California, Georgia and Utah.”

        “The data were adjusted for age and come from California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Utah.”

        This is only representative of 13 states, not the whole of the USA and therefore cannot be used as the standard for the % in the country. It can be used as the standard in those 13 states and that disclaimer should be noted when using that data.

        It is almost if they picked the states that best helped their article.

        What is the overall percentage for all 50 states? What is the overall percentage in the other 37 states?

        If we are going to learn anything we need to start seeing the whole picture, with all of the facts, not a selective snapshot to support the narrative.

        Thank you for providing the link to the article, I had not seen it before.

        1. This is only representative of 13 states, not the whole of the USA and therefore cannot be used as the standard for the % in the country.

          Of course it can. A representative sample of over 30,000 cases from 13 states out of 50 is an excellent basis from which to extrapolate to the entire country. This is a very large study using a sample selected to be representative of the US demographics as a whole.

          In any case, absent outright fraud (which is extremely unlikely given the size of the study) even if data scientists find something to quibble about, it’s not going to change the stark reading of the charts in the article beyond a slight adjustment of the error bars. Does it really matter if it’s 95% and not 98% in the ICUs?

          Bottom line is that this study proves it’s overwhelmingly unvaccinated Americans who are filling hospitals with Covid-19 patients.

          1. Josh S,

            I am not questioning the validity of the 13 states numbers.

            Those 13 states, they have a complete picture, but it cannot be used as the standard for the rest of the country.

            You must ask why the other states are not releasing their information?

            Isn’t this information known and is sent everyday to the CDC?

            If not, then we are relying on statistical models that might be correct, or they might be theory which we are using to determine response to the situation.

            Where do the 13 states rank as far total population, cases, poverty, deaths, vaccinated, health statistics, ICU beds available, etc … compared to the other 37?

            The other states may have the same rates, they may not, but we were not presented with the numbers in the story. Again, Why?

            I will not accept a study that only uses 13 out of 50 factors to determine the norm for the country.

            If you pick the 13 worst states for crime/alcoholism/car accidents/deaths and say that is the national average, it is a misrepresentation of the facts and dishonest reporting.

            Would you allow a vaccine that only takes into account 13 out of 50 variables, or is a treatment based on less than 30% of total information “good enough”?

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