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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis pastor returned home after being in the hospital for nearly three months due to COVID-19.

Rev. Chuck Lester is also called “Champion Chuck” by members of Christ Missionary Baptist Church, and they were happy when they heard he was finally returning home after a three month stay at the hospital.

Lester greeted his family and friends telling them he was finally healthy.

“We’re COVID free. We’re COVID free,” Lester said.

Lester said he spent the last 68 days in the hospital recovering from COVID. He said he went to the hospital on Aug 2. not knowing he would spend 42 days on a ventilator followed by intense rehabilitation.

“I couldn’t do anything for myself. Couldn’t talk or anything like that. I was under heavy medication and had hallucinations. COVID is real,” Lester said.

Lester’s wife, Deneen, also tested positive but said her case was not as severe. The couple said they are not sure how they got the virus. They did their best to practice social distancing and wear masks.

However, one thing they said they know for sure is it was through the support and love of others, they were able to keep pushing forward.

“I just want to say this,” Lester said. “Somebody prayed for me, kept me on their mind. Took some time and prayed for me.”

Lester said he still has a long road to recovery, but he said as soon as he is given clearance, he plans on getting back to work at the church.

Lester’s family and friends were excited to greet him. Rev. Gina Stewart said all blessings come from God.

“What a mighty God we serve. What a mighty God we serve,” Stewart said. “It’s not just a celebration of his restoration or his becoming restoration, his restoration that’s in process, it’s a testimony of faith.”