Safford Mayor Kouts announces cancer diagnosis, prayer vigil is Friday

Safford Mayor Jason Kouts, left, introduces Congressman Tom O'Halleran to officially open the 2021 Safford Spring Festival. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — “Because I’m open and I live in a glass house, I’d just like to everybody know — staff and the public will end up hearing this — I was diagnosed Wednesday with Stage 4 (cancer),” said Safford Mayor Jason Kouts at the Jan. 23 City Council meeting.

Kouts said he was undergoing medical procedures in an effort to beat the cancer.

In response, Councilman Mike Andazola has organized a multi-denominational prayer vigil to show support for Kouts and his family while he battles the illness, as well as others fighting cancer, cancer survivors and to remember those lost.

“We need to come together for him, and show him support for what he’s going through,” Andazola said.

The event of prayer and fellowship will take place Friday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m., at the Hoopes Activity Center on the Thatcher campus of Eastern Arizona College.

“We’re honored to be able to help,” said Keith Alexander, special assistant to the president at EAC.

Pastor Ronald Gonzalez, of the Church at Safford, will offer the opening prayer; followed by a scripture reading from Pastor David Chapman, of The River Church; and response by Pastor Bryan Edge, of The Way.

The Kouts family will offer testimony and there will be songs and silent prayer. Andazola said more will be added to the program as other faiths join.