George Mason, senior pastor at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, said that Louise Troh, the girlfriend of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian Ebola victim currently hospitalized in critical condition at a Dallas hospital, has not been out of the country since coming to the United States more than a decade ago.
“The answer is no, she has not been back to Liberia,” Mason said in an exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Monday.
“She doesn’t even have a passport; she has not traveled at all,” Mason noted, adding that she doesn’t have the money to travel.
Mason’s statement, which he says is based on phone conversations with Troh over the past several days while she has been quarantined, contradicts previous reports in the Daily Mail and ABC News.
The Daily Mail reported that Troh had visited Liberia in August, citing activity on a Facebook account they believe to be hers. In a separate story, updated on Monday morning but prior to Mason’s interview with Breitbart News, the Daily Mail reported that Mason told them on Sunday that Troh had visited Liberia this summer.
ABC News went further in an October 2 report, stating that Troh accompanied Duncan on his flights from Liberia to Dallas, where he landed on September 20.
Mason also told Breitbart News that, though he has spoken with Troh regularly over the past several days while she has been quarantined in a private four bedroom house, “I don’t know where she is.”
“I am fairly confident that it’s someone from the faith community [who provided the house], but it is not someone from our church.”
Mason said that he believed the rekindling of the relationship between Thomas Eric Duncan and Troh, who is the mother of his child, Kasiah Duncan, born in Liberia about 19 years ago, occurred without an in-person meeting between the two.
“I think it’s a telephone situation,” he told Breitbart News.
After a falling out between Troh and the elder Duncan, Troh left Liberia some time in the 1990s. Their child joined her in the United States at some later date. He graduated from Emmett J. Conrad High School and is currently a college student in San Angelo, Texas, according to the Dallas Morning News.
Mason also said of Troh that “she is a naturalized citizen.” However, he noted that he had not personally confirmed that status but instead was told of it by “the man who runs point on our English Language program, Max Post, who is also a historian.”
Mark Wingfield, associate pastor at Wilshire Baptist Church, also spoke with Breitbart News on Monday. According to Wingfield, “Louise and some of her family first came into contact with us–I want to say back in the winter, early 2014 or late 2013.”
“We are predominantly an Anglo congregation,” Wingfield added. “We have been involved in working with immigrants and refugees. I think it is through those connections we came in contact with Louise and her family.”
“The beginning point might have been some English Language classes. Louise and her nieces also got involved in a Bible class.”
Senior pastor Mason recalls, “I think it was earlier than that. I am fuzzy when we first began connecting with her nieces. There were three nieces and we immediately went to a support team. We became acquainted with Louise, and that led to her baptism in June. Her niece Agnes was baptized in August.”
“In the midst of all this,” Wingfield added, “several things happened.They had needs that some in our church were trying to help them with daily living.” Wingfield added, “[s]ome of our folks may have been involved in helping Louise in food or money.”
The apartment building where Louise Troh and her family live, Wingfield said, “The Ivy Apartments are located in a part of Dallas called Vickery Meadow. Thirty or more languages are spoken there.”
“The Ivy has not endured well,” Wingfield noted. “It is low rent apartments, filled with people from all over the world who come to Dallas.”
“This Bible study class, the Open Bible Class, they have really taken Louise in. Some months ago, Louise lost a daughter who died during childbirth in Liberia. The child lived; the mother didn’t. One of our staff members led a memorial service for Louise’s daughter at Louise’s apartment.”
Both Wingfield and Mason indicated that the members of the Open Bible Class, most of whom are older than the 54-year-old Troh, consider her a friend. The class members, as well as the entire congregation at Wilshire Baptist Church, will continue to provide support and assistance to Troh and her family, they both added.
Image source: Wilshire Baptist Church