Birmingham, Ala. (WIAT) — A family member of former Auburn Coach Pat Dye said they didn’t know their prayer request would “go viral”. The family member who didn’t want their name used in the story said, “all I want is prayer”. They confirmed the information published in a widely circulated Toccoa First United Methodist church newsletter. It was titled “Lifting Up Pat Dye” and meant for members of the church.

The family member who spoke with us said those who know him and those in the Opelika area know Pat Dye has been in and out of the hospital for ongoing kidney problems and although he tested positive for COVID-19 previously, they said, “he is currently asymptomatic.” They said his kidneys are creating the main health issue right now. That’s why they asked for prayer from their church. The family member didn’t know it had been shared beyond the church until her phone rang Wednesday night.

Natalie Merrithew is a secretary at Toccoa First United Methodist who shared the prayer request in a newsletter that got shared on social media. She spoke with CBS 42 over the phone about the prayer request that she shared which asked people to “lift Pat up in prayer so that God may help him.” That request popped up late this afternoon on the Mobile Auburn Club Facebook page and began to trickle out.

Pat Dye is a giant of college football whose 11 years as head coach at Auburn University is legendary. Merrithew said, “he is a very loved member of the community because of his ties to Auburn University.” She shared a little of his history in the church letter where they are asking everyone to not only lift Pat Dye in prayer but his family as well.