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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church, where Ebola patient Thomas Duncan’s girlfriend is a member, said he came to Dallas to marry her.

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Associate pastor Mark Wingfield said Duncan’s girlfriend, Louise Troh was baptized at the church in June. She’s an active member of the adult bible study.

The Sr. Pastor spoke to Louise by phone not long ago. During the conversation, she explained to him that Duncan had come to the United States so they could start their new life together in America. She told him they had yet to set a date before he fell ill with the deadly virus.

They had not set a wedding date yet, though.

The following is a copy of the letter that was read Thursday to the congregation about the couple’s recent plight:

I’m writing today to let you know that, sadly, there is a Wilshire connection to the Dallas Ebola case. One of our own members and her family need our intensive prayer, as the patient identified in the first case of Ebola in the United States is a relation of theirs.

The Dallas Morning News reported today the connection between the Ebola patient and Louise Troh. Louise is a member of Open Bible Class, and other members of her extended family attend Wilshire periodically. We had the joy of welcoming Louise into the life of our church this summer by baptism. She has been warmly received in Open Bible Class.

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I have spoken with Louise by phone this morning and learned that Thomas Eric Duncan, who currently is hospitalized in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, came to Dallas to marry Louise and start a new life in America.

Louise and other members of her extended family are in isolation now because of their contact with Mr. Duncan. You can imagine how frightening this must be for all of them, mixed with the sadness of Mr. Duncan’s diagnosis. Please join me in praying for God’s mercy and peace to fall upon each of them and for God’s healing. They will remain in isolation under direction of the Centers for Disease Control until any threat of infection with Ebola has passed.

It is important to know that we have no reason to believe there has been any exposure of the Ebola virus at Wilshire. None of the family and friends of Mr. Duncan have been present at Wilshire since his arrival in the United States Sept. 20. The Ebola virus is transmitted only through direct contact with blood or body fluids of a person who is symptomatic with the illness.

As shocking as it is to know that Dallas has become the epicenter of national attention on this case, it is even more surprising to know that we as a congregation have a personal connection to those most intimately affected. Please join me in earnest prayer for Louise and her family, for their friends in Open Bible Class who seek to minister to them and for all the health care professionals among us who are working to address this critical situation. Louise’s friends from Open Bible Class are doing everything they can to find appropriate ways to be supportive, but there are obvious limits due to the quarantine. Prayer is certainly our best gift at this time.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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