Stephen Harmon attended Hillsong Church in Los Angeles, California. The Church itself was founded in Australia in 1983
The founder of Hillsong megachurch said coronavirus vaccines are a “personal decision” after a council member who refused the injection, tweeting: “I have 99 problems, but the vax is not one” died of Covid-19, according to a statement obtained by CNN.
Hillsong Church’s global senior pastor Brian Houston had previously tweeted about the death of Stephen Harmon, who attended the megachurch, who reports 150,000 members in 23 different countries.
After the church member’s death, Houston still did not approve general vaccines.
Houston told CNN that receiving the coronavirus vaccine was a “personal decision that each individual had to make with the council of medical professionals,” with Harmon ultimately choosing not to get the shot.
Houston did not say whether he had received the injection, but he did say that “many of our staff, our leadership and the congregation” have already received their injections.
“Stephen was just a young man in his early thirties,” Houston tweeted during the announcement of Harmon’s passing on Wednesday.
“He was one of the most generous people I know and he had so much ahead of him.”
Harmon, 34, attended the Hillsong church branch in Los Angeles, California. The church itself was founded in Australia in 1983.
Global Senior Pastor Brian Houston (pictured) speaks onstage at Hillsong Atlanta’s grand opening on June 6. The megachurch has 150,000 members in 23 countries
Harmon, a graduate of Hillsong College after a months-long battle with the coronavirus, posted jokes about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Biden’s door-to-door vaccine researchers should really be called JaCovid witnesses. #keepmovingdork,” Harmon tweeted from a hospital bed on July 8, just weeks before his death.
His social media posts show that he had been hospitalized with coronavirus and pneumonia since at least June 30.
Harmon had tweeted “99 problems but a vax ain’t one” on June 3, parodying Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” A little over a month later, he would be dead.
Despite his online presence, Harmon insisted he wasn’t so much “anti-vax” as “pro-information,” while remaining steadfast in his belief to forgo the vaccine, even as he battled the virus from a hospital ward.
“I’m not against it, I’m just in no rush to get it,” he wrote in a July 8 Instagram post.
Harmon, a Hillsong College graduate, died Wednesday after a month-long battle with the coronavirus in which he posted jokes about the COVID-19 vaccine
“Ironically, as I lay here… in the isolation room of my covid ward, battling the virus and pneumonia.”
CNN said it asked for comment from Harmon’s family, but they did not respond.
Meanwhile, Houston revealed more of his thoughts on Harmon’s death and decision to opt out of vaccination in a statement to CNN, saying that “any loss of life is a moment to mourn and offer support to those who suffer.” and therefore our sincere prayers are with his family and those who loved him.’
“With any medical issue, we strongly encourage those in our church to follow the guidelines of their physicians,” Houston said, emphasizing the church’s focus was on spiritual well-being.
“While many of our staff, leadership and congregation have already received the Covid-19 vaccine, we recognize that this is a personal decision that each individual must make with the council of medical professionals,” the statement reads.
Days after his death was announced, Harmon’s Instagram account was made private as of Friday.