A kind-hearted pastor and a patient had a chance encounter in a hospital lobby, and it has now led to another encounter, this time in a recording studio. Pastor Mark Willhoite was at the Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital in Baytown, Texas, visiting patients, according to KTXS. While crossing the lobby, he sat down at the grand piano and began playing and singing, hoping to lift the spirits of those within hearing range.
Shortly thereafter, a patient who was searching for the ladies’ room heard him and ended up joining him. Her name is Vera Swain, and she’s got the voice of an angel. She began singing along with him and ended up taking a seat next to him at the piano and joining him in a duet. Pastor Willhoite asked his wife to capture the moment on video, telling her that this was “an anointed moment.” She did, and now their story has gone viral, with over 14 million views, and that was even before their story was featured on Fox News. They’d previously been featured in multiple local news stories. Pastor Mark Willhoite was touched that a patient would join him in such a manner. He spoke of her amazing talent to Houston ABC-affiliate, KTRK.
“The more I listened to her, the more I thought, this woman has got the goods.”
There were only a few scattered people in the hospital lobby that day, but they weren’t the only ones blessed by the musical duet. It’s now been featured by multiple news agencies and has found a huge following on YouTube and Facebook. Vera Swain doesn’t claim to be internet savvy, and speaks of how she realized it was all a big deal.
“I have gotten several texts from people saying, ‘Mrs. Vera, you’ve gone viral on Facebook.’ I wasn’t sure, what does that mean. ‘You’re viral, that means you’re popular!'”
Her humility is a fitting match for her beautiful voice. Both pastor and patient, in fact, are unassuming, every-day people who merely had a chance encounter in a hospital lobby. Their desire remains to share the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. So far, they’ve reached millions, and their story isn’t over. Mark’s wife, Sherry, went home and uploaded the video to her Facebook account. From there, the numbers started to climb. Sherry was delighted.
“We were watching the views and thought this is amazing it just went up and up and up.”
As for Vera Swain, that chance encounter was more important than anything else she had to do that day or any other.
“I didn’t make it to my destination until an hour later. It was worth the wait.”
Mark and Sherry Willhoite couldn’t be more thrilled. They believe people are hearing more than just beautiful music.
“It’s always been about reaching souls, and changing lives,” Mark said. The Willhoites and Vera all agree that the message is the most important thing. Their desire to reach others with the most powerful message they’ve ever heard is their motivation to continue their work, and the inspiration behind their beautiful talent.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the viral video is that it was indeed a chance encounter. The pastor and patient had never met before, but those who have viewed their video say it sounded as if the two had been rehearsing and performing together for years. What some might call a “magical moment,” Pastor Mark Willhoite calls an “anointed moment.”
This dynamic duo sounds like they’ve been singing together for years, even though their video is an unrehearsed performance between strangers. This pastor, his wife, and the patient are strangers no more. They now consider each other to be dear friends, and share a mission to minister to as many souls as possible. The couple consider Vera Swain to be more than a friend. She is now their sister in Christ. The duo will be recording an original song together soon.
Among the millions touched by this chance encounter between pastor and patient, they have one new fan in particular. The author of this article had the privilege of working as a nurse in the same hospital and was delighted to bring you this story. What is your impression of this incredible moment? Please tell us in the comments section below.
[Featured image via Mark Willhoite/Facebook]