The founder and General overseer of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, Gerald Glenn, has reportedly died from COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus complications in the US, three weeks after a warning to hold church services, saying God is “larger” than the disease.
He had proudly shown off how packed his Virginia church in the US was and had vowed to keep preaching “unless I’m in jail or the hospital”.
Glenn announced he was being controversial by being in violation of safety protocols with “way more than 10 people” at the church.
“I am essential,” he said of remaining open, adding, “I’m a preacher — I talk to God!”
The pastor, who died on Saturday, had experienced difficulty in breathing. He was based in Richmond, Virginia.
According to Daily Mail, a statement from the church said Marcietia Glenn, the pastor’s mother, has also tested positive for the disease.
“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,” the church said in a statement.
“Please be in prayer with us for Mother Marcietia Glenn, our first family and the NDEC church family.”
Mar-Gerie Crawley, the pastor’s daughter, said her father suffered from diverticulitis, a gastrointestinal disease that causes inflammation of the intestines and also fevers.
Crawley said when Glenn was put on a ventilator, his breathing improved.
“They did the COVID-19 test on him and we got it back that day and it was positive,” she said.
But before he got sick, Glenn told his congregation in a sermon on March 22 that he firmly believed that God is larger than COVID-19.
“I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus,” the deceased was quoted as saying.
Daily Mail said a day after that sermon banned gatherings of 10 people or more.
Crawly said the situation has made the disease real to her.
“Who is now spreading the message that everyone should follow social distancing rules,” she said.
“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.”