Florida pastor Rodney Howard-Browne was arrested after holding Sunday church services with hundreds of people despite a “safer at home” order being in effect to stop the spread of the corona virus, limiting gatherings to 50 people in Hillsborough county.
The pastor at The River at Tampa Bay Church has claimed in his sermon that they have machines to “secure” the audience and that closures are for “pansies”. The pastor has said that the only time the church will close is when the Rapture takes place.
The pastor said that people should trust God to survive what is coming, saying “God will protect our people”. However, the pastors faith seem to have disappeared as he has bought in 13 machines that he claims would protect from the corona virus.
“We brought in 13 machines that basically kill every virus in the place. If they sneeze it shoots it down like at 100 miles per hour and it will neutralize it in a split second.” the pastor claimed without providing any evidence.
Rodney Howard-Browne is a self-proclaimed “God’s bartender” and is one of the people that originally introduced the un-biblical “holy laughter”.
“Holy laughter” is a phenomenon where worshipers giggle in “spiritual drunkenness”, emit animal noises and break into uncontrollable laughter while shaking and dancing in the aisles, or falling to the ground.
The church held two services on Sunday, even offering bus transportation for those services.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said the pastor had displayed “reckless disregard” for human life and put hundreds of people in his congreation at risk.
“I was appalled and also frightened at the fact that those individuals [were] thinking and believing they are doing the right thing. How many people are they going to infect if they have COVID-19?” Chronister asked. “There is nothing more important than faith especially during a pandemic, but like every other church here in the Bay Area, do it responsibly.”
The church wrote the following statement on their website:
“We feel that it would be wrong for us to close our doors on them, at this time, or any time. In a time of crisis, people are fearful and in need of comfort and community.”
Liberty Counsel, a non-profit organization says that the church had hand sanitizer available and 6-foot seperations marked on the floor for family groups, and that staff members wore gloved.
As we reported on earlier, a pastor from Virginia shared a post on facebook that claimed the corona virus was “mass hysteria”, however the pastor sadly died after being infected with corona virus.
The USA currently has the most number of corona virus infections in the world, standing at 188 592 infections and 4 055 dead. The USA saw a record number of 865 new deaths in a 24 hour period on Tuesday evening.
You can follow our LIVE reporting on the corona virus situation HERE.