More than 1,800 people attend service at Louisiana church

by Laura Mize · Mar 25th, 2020 9:41 am

Life Tabernacle Church, in the town of Central, Louisiana, hosted a service on Sunday that drew more than 1,800 in-person attendees, despite warnings from health officials to stay at home.

A local news outlet reported that 26 buses picked people up from around the Baton Rouge area and transported them to the church. Video footage of the service shows people standing close together, most of them not wearing masks or gloves.

The church also reportedly conducted water baptisms and some people donated blood.

The church's pastor, Tony Spell, says the Bible commands people to lay hands on the sick and heal them. He said that is what he will do if anyone in his church contracts coronavirus.

"I'm going to address that by laying hands on them and praying for them and depending on God to heal their body," Spell explained.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a stay-at-home order that went into effect Monday evening. He also specifically asked for "all faith leaders to heed this directive and not necessarily engage in mass gatherings where this coronavirus can spread."

Spell said he does not plan to comply with the order.


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