More than 1,800 people gather at Louisiana church despite governor’s stay at home order

By now you’re probably tired hearing about the importance of social distancing, but it’s true. Social distancing and staying home is what will slow the spread of COVID-19.

Many states, along with many countries around the world, have ordered residents to shelter in place or stay at home. Countless have obeyed, but there are still some who believe the order does not apply to them and they are not only putting themselves at risk, but everyone else around them.

On Sunday, the Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, hosted more than 1,800 for Sunday mass.

That same day the governor issued a stay at home order for the entire state to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Previously, the limit for gatherings was groups of 50 people.

Residents of Louisiana were ordered to avoid gatherings.

Despite the official order, Pastor Tony Spell welcomed 26 buses full of people to the Life Tabernacle Church. The 1,825 people occupied seven buildings across the church’s campus.

After defying orders on March 17, Spell said he did not believe his congregation was at risk fo contracting the virus.

“It’s not a concern,” he told WAFB. “The virus, we believe, is politically motivated. We hold our religious rights dear and we are going to assemble no matter what someone says.”

Parishioners gathered the following Sunday despite orders from the governor.

Despite warnings and a new order from the governor, Spell welcomed 1,825 people Sunday to worship.

According to reports, throughout the service parishioners were seen gathering and touching one another. In addition to lunch being served, parishioners donated blood and many received a water baptism.

Spell said if one of his congregates were to contract COVID-19 he would pray over them and depend on God to heal them.

“When the paramedics can’t get there, when the law enforcement can’t get there, the holy ghost can get there it will make a difference in someone’s life,” he said.

“I would urge that faith leaders and all faith leaders to heed this directive and not necessarily engage in mass gatherings where this coronavirus can spread,” Louisiana’s Governor Edwards said.

Faith leaders around the world have had to make the difficult decision to suspend worship services, but they have done so all in the name of helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Please follow officials’ orders when it comes to staying at home. It is for everyone’s benefit. Share this article on Facebook and let us know what you think. Should you still attend mass?