A Virginia pastor who defied warnings concerning the hazard of spiritual gatherings in the course of the pandemic and vowed to maintain preaching “except I’m in jail or the hospital” died over the weekend after contracting Covid-19, his church stated.
The pastor, Gerald O. Glenn, 66, the bishop and founding father of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield, Va., died on Saturday night time, in keeping with Bryan Nevers, a church elder.
Mr. Nevers introduced the demise of Bishop Glenn throughout an Easter sermon, which was posted on the Facebook page of the Richmond-area Pentecostal congregation. He stated that Bishop Glenn had transitioned from labor to reward.
“The very first thing I requested God is, ‘Why?’ ” Mr. Nevers stated. “The bishop has touched our lives in so some ways.”
Mom Marcietia Glenn, 65, the bishop’s spouse, additionally examined optimistic for the virus, Mar-Gerie Crawley, their daughter, stated in an April four submit on the church’s Fb web page. Ms. Crawley stated on the time that her father was on a ventilator on the hospital.
“It turns into very actual to you,” Ms. Crawley stated on Fb. “I simply beg individuals to grasp the severity and the seriousness of this, as a result of persons are saying it’s not nearly us, it’s about everybody round us.”
The church’s members held vigil and a few fasted for Bishop Glenn, whose demise was extensively mourned, together with by Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia.
“My coronary heart sinks as I study this morning that Bishop Gerald Glenn, pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, died yesterday from COVID-19,” Mr. Kaine wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “He was a good friend and pillar of Richmond religion neighborhood. Could all do as a lot for thus many.”
Bishop Glenn’s demise got here as church leaders from Pope Francis to native pastors grappled with the challenges of social distancing. Some church leaders have notably defied pleas from governors and public well being officers to shutter homes of worship. In Florida, the pastor of a Pentecostal megachurch was arrested last month after holding services with hundreds of worshipers.
On March 17, Gov. Ralph S. Northam told Virginians to avoid nonessential gatherings of more than 10 people, in accordance with federal tips on social distancing.
Throughout a March 22 sermon, Bishop Glenn preached to a couple dozen worshipers on the church, video on the website of the television station WTVR showed. The sermon was posted on YouTube and later eliminated.
On the time, the bishop was quoted by native media shops as saying that “I firmly consider that God is bigger than this dreaded virus.” Native media reported that Bishop Glenn stated that he would hold preaching “except I’m in jail or the hospital.”
On March 30, eight days after that sermon, Mr. Northam issued a stay-at-home order in Virginia.