Montevallo church pastor diagnosed with coronavirus

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer 

MONTEVALLO – Father Ray Dunmyer, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, is in quarantine at home after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, March 24.

Dunmyer started to feel ill at the end of last week and was tested for COVID-19 on Saturday, March 21, according to Jackie Lampton, the church’s financial secretary.

Father Ray Dunmyer, pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, tested positive for the novel coronavirus. (Contributed)

Dunmyer’s test results came back positive for the virus on March 24.

Dunmyer was treated for dehydration in the emergency room at Shelby Baptist Medical Center on Wednesday, March 25, before returning home that night, Lampton said.

“I talked with him about an hour ago, and he sounded better today,” Lampton said in a phone interview on the afternoon of Thursday, March 26. “He’s OK, he just has to get through the virus itself.”

Lampton was the only staff member working in the church office March 26.

According to an announcement on the church’s website about Dunmyer’s diagnosis, the church and chapel are no longer open for private prayer.

The church, like many others across the country, had already suspended public Masses and parish activities.

Members may check the church’s website, Stthomascatholic.com, for future updates.

“It’s something everybody is having to work with,” Lampton said of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re looking forward to it being resolved, whenever that might be.”