Topeka church mourns loss of co-pastor from COVID-19

Members of El Encuentro Church, 2056 S.E. California Ave., are mourning the loss of co-pastor...
Members of El Encuentro Church, 2056 S.E. California Ave., are mourning the loss of co-pastor Silvia Delacruz, who died Thursday at the age of 48 from the coronavirus.(Submitted)
Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 10:56 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Members of a Topeka church are mourning the loss of one of their co-pastors who died Thursday from COVID-19.

Silvia Delacruz, 48, served as co-pastor of El Encuentro Church at 2056 S.E. California Ave.

Her husband, Polo Delacruz, is the church's co-pastor.

According to a GoFundMe page post, Silvia Delacruz died following a month of treatment for the coronavirus in the intensive care unit of Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help cover funeral and medical expenses. As of Monday morning, $8,255 of a $100,000 goal had been raised in the GoFundMe account.

“Anyone who knew her will say they were so honored and blessed to have known her,” the GoFundMe listing said. “She brought life, love and lots of laughter everywhere she went.

“She touched so many lives with her genuine Christ-like love, her passionate love for Christ, her strong faith, her selfless care and service for others, and let’s not forget her beautiful smile and great sense of humor.”

On a Facebook post, Polo Delacruz said he was "heartbroken" over the loss of his "beloved wife," who also was a songwriter in addition to serving as one of the pastors at the church.

"God decided to take her to heaven," Polo Delacruz stated. "She will always live in our hearts."

Both Polo and Silvia Delacruz are natives of Guatemala who have served as pastors in Topeka for more than a decade.

The El Encuentro Church began in 2004. El Encuentro is Spanish for “The Encounter.”

In addition to her husband, other survivors include four children: Joshua, 19; Jonathan, 16; Sarah, 15; and Isaac, 12.

Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at Light of the World Christian Center, 3301 S.W. Gage Blvd. A family visitation will precede the service from 9 to 11 a.m. Those attending are asked to wear white clothing and face masks at the service, while also practicing social distancing.

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