Winston-Salem woman stuck on quarantined cruise ship

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A church community in Winston-Salem is rallying around one of their own.

Candace Culcleasure is stuck onboard the Princess cruise line ship that's docked in Japan on a forced quarantine due to an outbreak of the coronavirus.

There are more than 100 confirmed cases on the ship.

"We're lifting her up and those passengers, and the Princess lines Diamond cruise ship," said Pastor Alvin Armstead on Sunday.

In a brightly lit sanctuary, members of the United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church prayed.

"A mother who's awaiting her daughter's safe return home," Armstead said. "You're watching the news and you're hearing about the story, and it seems so far away. But obviously getting a call from a member of my congregation. It hit home for us."

Armstead leads his church in prayer every week.

But this past Sunday, Evetter Culcleasure called him with the news that her daughter, Candace, was on the other side of the world.

"It impacted us a lot and everyone in the room kinda felt just how close it hit to home and how concerning it could be for a parent waiting for a child's safe return," Armstead said.

He said Culcleasure is a singer for the cruise line and that her love of entertaining and sharing her voice began beneath the stained glass windows of the church.

"Her voice in the community and in the church was a part of her life in the church, down through the years, until her career took her abroad, which is an exciting thing," Armstead said.

Culcleasure's mom says, as of now, she's coronavirus-free.

"She's in good spirit and they're trying to pass the time while they're there in quaratine," Armstead said.

Meanwhile, the community is supporting her family, and one another, in prayer and in life.

"They have a community that's standing with them and behind them," Armstead said. "If there's anything she needs, we would help and support her in any way.

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