Pastor Dies From Coronavirus Three Weeks After Holding Large Sermon
An American church has paid tribute to its founder after he died from coronavirus.
Bishop Gerald O. Glenn became sick around a week after holding his last known in-person church sermon in Virginia on March 22.
The New Deliverance Evangelistic Church issued a statement for its founder and pastor, saying it a was a tragedy that he was taken by Covid-19.
The church wrote on Facebook: "It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved Bishop Gerald O. Glenn, the Founder and Pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church on Saturday, April 11. at 9:00 p.m.
"Please be in prayer with us for Mother Marcietia Glenn, our first family and the NDEC church family. We ask that you respectfully allow our First Family to grieve in their own way."
Virginia Senator Tim Kaine added: "My heart sinks as I learn this morning that Bishop Gerald Glenn, pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, died yesterday from COVID-19.
"He was a friend and pillar of Richmond faith community. May all do as much for so many."
Bishop Glenn controversially held a sermon in late March despite state authorities warning people to keep their distance from one another to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
According to the Daily Examiner, the pastor said: "I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus. You can quote me on that."
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He admitted that he was being 'in violation' of safety protocols because he had 'way more than 10 people' at the church service on March 22.
The pastor also vowed to keep the church open because it 'heals people'.
"I am essential," he said of remaining open, adding: "I'm a preacher - I talk to God!"
The following day, Virginia introduced restrictions on social gatherings, which banned groups of more than 10 people.
Bishop Glenn's daughter, Mar-Gerie Crawley, said when he became ill, he shrugged it off because he has diverticulitis, a gastrointestinal disease, which causes him to sometimes get fevers.
However, when his condition deteriorated he was taken to hospital and eventually ended up on a ventilator.
Ms Crawley told WTVR: "It becomes very real to you. I just beg people to understand the severity and the seriousness of this, because people are saying it's not just about us, it's about everyone around us.
"It's not an easy situation, but the people that are standing with us makes it a little bit more easy to get through it."
Funeral plans have not get been announced for the bishop.
Featured Image Credit: The New Deliverance Evangelistic Church
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