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Tributes pour in for 34-year-old Hillsong College graduate who has died from Covid

by Kelly Valencia

Tributes and heart-felt messages are pouring in for Stephen Harmon, a congregant of Hillsong Church California after he passed away due to Covid during the early morning on Wednesday.

In an Instagram post, Hillsong founder Brian Houston broke the news saying: “Ben has just passed on to us the devastating news that our beloved friend, Stephen Harmon has passed away from Covid. Heart-breaking”.

Houston continued by explaining that Harmon was a Hillsong College graduate and “a vital part of our church in California”.

“He was one of the most generous people I know and he had so much in front of him. He would always turn up to our grandkids’ soccer games and he will be missed by so many. RIP.”

Harmon had been part of Hillsong Church for eleven years after he was given a scholarship at Hillsong College in California at the age of 23.

The 34 year old had been posting updates of his Covid situation since he first tested positive in late June.

Only last week, he explained that his pneumonia had gotten “a lot worse” as he was struggling to breath despite already receiving the maximum oxygen allowance.

“If I go unconscious, they will intubate me but my chance at survival drops significantly. Next 24 hours are quite critical. Need my heart rate & breathing to settle,” Harmon wrote on Twitter.

In his last tweet, he said that he had decided to be intubated: “I don’t know when I’ll wake up, please pray”.

“I’m choosing to going under intubation, i’ve fought this thing as hard as i can but unfortunately it’s reached a point of critical choice & as much as i hate having to do this i’d rather it be willingness than forced emergency procedure,” Harmon said.

Many Hillsong church leaders have taken to social media to pay tributes to Harmon. The latest to do so is Bobbie Houston.

“Heaven …. Closer than we know. It’s been a big and long day on so many levels. Yet, I am going to bed so very grateful for the faithfulness of our dear Heavenly Father, and grateful for the immense privilege and honor of doing life alongside so many wonderful and good people.

“Rest in glorious peace dear Stephen Harmon … you were (and will always remain) a gift in our lives. Til that day when we are all reunited, we will hold you with great affection in our hearts. To GOD be the glory,” Bobbie Houston wrote on Instagram. 

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