Published August 27, 2013
DALLAS – A Texas megachurch linked to at least 21 measles cases has been trying to contain the outbreak by hosting vaccination clinics, officials said Monday.
The outbreak started when a person who contracted measles overseas visited Eagle Mountain International Church in Newark, located about 20 miles north of Fort Worth, Texas. Officials with area health departments said those affected by the outbreak range in age from 4-months to 44-years-old. All of the school-aged children with measles were homeschooled, and majority of those who were infected had not been vaccinated.
In a recent sermon posted online, senior pastor Terri Pearsons encouraged those who haven’t been vaccinated to do so, adding that the Old Testament is “full of precautionary measures.”
“I would encourage you to do that. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing that. Go do it. Go do it. Go do it. And go in faith,” said Pearsons, whose father is televangelist Kenneth Copeland. But she added, if “you’ve got this covered in your household by faith and it crosses your heart of faith then don’t go do it.”
“The main thing is stay in faith no matter what you do.”
In Tarrant County, where the church is located, 11 of the 16 people with measles were not vaccinated while the others may have had at least one measles vaccination. In nearby Denton County, none of their five cases had been vaccinated.