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.”
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.
1. Ecclesiastes 7:1
“A good name is better than fine perfume, and one’s day of death is better than his day of birth.”
GOD Bless pic.twitter.com/PVELW7mfn8
— Coach Valai (@JayValai) August 30, 2021
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.
Caleb @CalebTexada spent the whole first half of the game in ICU getting to see his Dad for the first time since August 10th. We were not allowed to see him. After he saw him, he came and knelt by my chair and said, “Mom, I want to go support my team”. And this is what happened! https://t.co/ahZa78sVpS
— Cyd Texada (@CydTexada) August 28, 2021
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.