Pastor Who Dismissed Social Distancing Orders Dies Of COVID-19
A Virginia pastor who dismissed orders about social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has died of COVID-19. His story further emphasizes just how serious this situation is, and how important it is to follow guidelines.
Bishop Gerald Glenn of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month. On Saturday, he passed away. Glenn had previously told churchgoers not to be “afraid” of the virus.
Pastor Who Defied Social Distancing Dies Of Coronavirus
Virginia’s governor Ralph Northam banned non-essential gatherings of over 10 people last month. In a sermon on March 22 (shared by Now This News), Glenn seemed to scoff at church services being declared “non-essential,” saying, “We have been discounted and dismissed. But we make a difference.”
Glenn also said the pandemic “made me realize my own mortality.” He added, “If I die, I’m not worried about that. I will not be afraid.” He said he told his children, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t be neurotic. Yes, [the virus] is out there, but God is out there, too.”
The pastor said you should “never talk about the virus without talking about God,” emphasizing that God is “bigger.” His congregation agreed with him, clapping and cheering along with his words.
Glenn’s wife, Marcietia, also tested positive for coronavirus, according to an announcement from his daughter. CNN reports that the church requested people to allow the “First Family to grieve in their own way.”
Churches Defy Social Distancing Orders
While many churches across the United States have moved to virtual services to comply with social distancing orders, some have defied these restrictions. Life Tabernacle Church in Louisiana reportedly hosted 1,000 at a service last month.
“If they close every door in this city, then I will close my doors,” Pastor Tony Spell told CNN. “But you can’t say the retailers are essential but the church is not. That is a persecution of the faith.” Pastor Spell was arrested and charged with six misdemeanors on March 31 for defying an executive order.
In the above video, churchgoers at Life Tabernacle told the Washington Post that they weren’t afraid of contracting the virus. “The virus feeds on fear,” said one woman. “I don’t have fear, I have faith.”
As Bishop Gerald Glenn’s story demonstrates, faith is not a sufficient protection against COVID-19. Proper social distancing is an important step to keeping yourself and others safe from the virus.