KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Pastor Gustavo Morales helped save a historic Independence Avenue church from the wrecking ball in 2014. Now the congregation is praying for the pastor as he remains in intensive care at North Kansas City Hospital.
Pastor Morales had been at Camino Verdad y Vida for more than a decade when he was told by national leaders if he wanted to remain a pastor in his denomination he’d have to take his church elsewhere. Independence Avenue and Elmwood where the church has stood since 1903 isn’t one of Kansas City’s richest neighborhoods.
“It was a hard decision because he knew even harder times were coming, because obviously with that went his pay, with that went medical insurance,” Morales' daughter Diana Navarrete said.
But he continued serving the Hispanic community with weekly homeless feedings at the church whose name means "The Way the Truth and the Life."
Now his life hangs in the balance. On Friday his kidneys and lungs went into septic shock as he battles pneumonia.
"Necesitamos un milagro grande,” Navarrete's grandmother prayed for a big miracle in front of the congregation.
“The pastor always says that praying is the way to go, and we believe it so that’s why we are here,” church member Christy Cepeda said,
“I think it’s important for my dad to know that at least when he wakes up and knows there’s all these people that have come together to pray,” Navarrete said.
As tears rolled down their faces they sang "Dios Esta Aqui," meaning God is here, even if their pastor can’t be.
Pastor Morales' daughter has set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical bills.