Community comes together to fundraise for Valley pastor on ventilator

Published 9:00 am Saturday, February 4, 2023

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After Valley pastor Derek Hubbard was taken to the hospital and put on a ventilator, church members started a fundraiser to pay for his hospital bills. 

Since Jan. 27, Hubbard has been sedated and kept on a ventilator. In the following days, the New Unity Church in Valley, headed by long-time church members Elizabeth Thompson and Kendra Perry, has banded together to raise money for his medical costs. 

So far, the church has raised $785 through the fundraiser. Their goal is to raise enough money to cover the church’s expenses for the next few months and help with medical bills. Thompson hopes to be able to provide enough help for the family’s needs as well. 

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Because the church is so small, she said that most tithes just cover the church’s expenses. Hubbard owns a business in addition to his pastoral duties. 

“He doesn’t get a check as a preacher, so there are so many times that he sacrifices things for himself and his family to help others. He’s always been that way … He’s the sole provider of his family,” Thompson said.

Thompson, who has been attending Hubbard’s church since she was 19 years old, said he is beloved by his community for his selfless and honest heart. She recalled two years ago when her whole family got COVID-19. They brought personalized boxes of supplies for each member of her family. 

“That’s who they are. That’s where my inspiration come from,” Thompson said.

Hubbard has been the pastor at the New Unity Church since 2005. According to Thompson, Hubbard’s doctors discovered he had an enlarged heart, which may be related to sleep apnea. 

As of Thursday, Hubbard was on 60% oxygen, down from 100% when he was first admitted. The doctors have discovered pneumonia and staph infection in his lungs that caused a fever. However, there is no sign of a stroke or heart attack.

In addition to the fundraiser, Thompson has been organizing additional fundraisers on her Facebook page. She recently started a drawing for a $25 gift card and koozie for His Purpose Nutrition from that will go until Monday. People can donate $10 to enter their name in the drawing. All the proceeds will go to helping Hubbard and his family.

“​​I’m trying to think of any little thing I can do,” Thompson said.

Perry is organizing a barbecue sale with 900 plates on March 11 to raise money for the church as well. There are donation pots at Hoods Pharmacy and King Auto in Valley. Thompson said they will also be reaching out to other local churches to ask for love offerings after giving tithes.

For those wishing to donate to Hubbard, visit the fundraiser website at for Derek and Lisa Hubbard.