LUBBOCK, Texas– Pastors in Lubbock joined University Medical Center in a public service announcement to motivate people to get vaccinated.

The group of nine pastors in the video, who are part of The Lubbock Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, shared their experiences in knowing people who had contracted the virus or their experiences in having it.

“You know, everyone has this personal choice, but I think it’s also a personal responsibility that we all have to not just be concerned about ourselves, but also for the safety and health well-being of others,” said Cory Powell, pastor of New Dimensions Tabernacle.

Powell said he and other members of his family got the virus after attending a funeral for a family member that was not COVID-related.

“A total of ten members of my family contracted the virus during that weekend, and I had an uncle who was hospitalized for two weeks and then spent 78 days or so in rehab,” said Powel. “Seeing firsthand and knowing that you have something in your body that unfortunately others passed from and knowing the impact it had on me, I don’t want anybody else to go through that.”

Powell said there are several reasons people’s apprehension to get vaccinated have come from myths, misinformation and fear.

“People are afraid and so our goal was to try to take away some of those, certainly just dispel the myth,” said Powell. “I think education is key is to talk medical professionals and then to talk to individuals that you know and trust and love who have been vaccinated or who have had the virus and listen to their stories.”

Michael White II, pastor at Pilgrim Baptist Church, said his wife Tai passed away from COVID-19 in September.

“First we thought it was seasonal allergies. That’s the way it presented itself,” said White, “and it just got worse.”

White said after 12 days, his wife was gone and that before she passed away, she had one request.

“She wanted me to make sure that I and the children got fully vaccinated so that we wouldn’t have to go through what she went through,” said White. “She didn’t say it but in retrospect, I really believe she wished she had done it, at least that way, she could have had a fighting chance to to be able to deal with the disease.”

White said although he doesn’t want to sound like a broken record, he feels it’s important for people to consider getting fully vaccinated before it’s too late.

“I know it’ll sound redundant, but if you want to be around for your family, if you don’t want your family to go through the pain and the loss, that mine has gone through, get vaccinated,” said White. “At least you have a fighting chance.”