A pastor from Richmond, Virginia, has died on Easter Weekend from Covid-19 complications after proclaiming ‘god is larger than this dreaded virus.’
Bishop Gerald Glenn, the founder and Pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, passed away on Saturday, April 11, a statement from the Church confirmed. His mother Marcietia Glenn has also tested positive for the virus.
‘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.
‘Please be in prayer with us for Mother Marcietia Glenn, our first family and the NDEC church family. We ask that you respectfully allow our First Family to grieve in their own way.’
Bishop Gerald Glenn, the founder and Pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, passed away on Saturday 11 April after coronavirus complications
According to Glenn’s daughter, Mar-Gerie Crawley, he suffered from diverticulitis, a gastrointestinal disease that causes inflammation of the intestines, so it was not unusual for him to experience high fevers.
However, last Sunday he began struggling to breathe and so was admitted to a hospital.
After being put on a ventilator his breathing improved, but he tested positive for Covid-19 shortly after.
‘They did the COVID-19 test on him and we got it back that day and it was positive,’ Crawley told local station WVTVR.
Bishop Glenn’s services were aired live on television, and just a few weeks before he was admitted to hospital, he told a congregation in a sermon on 22 March: ‘I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus.’
The day after the sermon, Virginia banned gatherings of 10 people or more, but officials had already begun encouraging people to practice social distancing before that point.
‘It becomes very real to you,’ Crawley said, who is now spreading the message that everyone should follow social distancing rules. ‘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.’
An image shared in tribute of Glenn on The New Deliverance Evangelistic Church’s facebook page
A sign outside the The New Deliverance Evangelistic Church reads ‘Dear God, we need your help.’ Bishop Glenn was an important figure in the local community
Another Richmond Pastor, Pastor Joe Ellison Jr, told CBS 6 that Glenn was not only his mentor as a fellow Pastor, but someone he looked up to as a man.
‘You know my heart is heavy. You know this is a tough one. You know this is a blow to the body of Christ,’ Ellison Jr. said.
‘I said this guy is not only a pastor. Even back then I saw the calling of a Bishop on his life, because he was a pastor to other pastors. And that’s what made Bishop Glenn so unique.’
‘He made me realize that I could be an outstanding pastor, outstanding husband, an outstanding father most importantly, an outstanding leader.’
Pastor Ellison said that the last time he spoke to Glenn, Glenn was consoling him over the phone about the passing of his brother, but he had no idea that would be the final time the two would speak.
‘The last thing he said was, “I love you son… Love your family… and I’ll see you soon,”‘ Ellison recalled. ‘Not knowing that would be the last time that I would talk to him.’
Virginia’s two senators gave their condolences upon hearing the news of Glenn’s passing.
U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner issued a statement Sunday saying: ‘Bishop Glenn was my great friend for more than 20 years. He was an extraordinary spiritual and community leader, and we will all miss him very much.’
U.S Senator Mark Warner (Democrat of Virginia, pictured speaking in March) said that Bishop Glenn was a great friend for more than 20 years
The Bishop had delivered a prayer of invocation at Warner’s gubernatorial inauguration in Richmond in 2002.
Senator Tim Kaine, also of Virginia, released a statement on Twitter, which read: ‘My heart sinks as I learn this morning that Bishop Gerald Glenn, pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, died yesterday from COVID-19.
‘He was a friend and pillar of Richmond faith community. May all do as much for so many.’
Funeral plans ‘in the season a social distancing’ would be released over the coming days, church leaders said.
A Reverend holds an Easter Sunday sermon at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Church, Collier, Pennsylvania
People across the US defied social distancing rules in place to attend church services on Easter Sunday, risking exposure to the coronavirus which has spread rapidly across the country
Churches across the U.S, faced with the challenge of not being able to hold Easter Sunday services, found ways to do so while observing the social distancing measures.
Some held their services online, while others held services with their congregation sitting in their cars.
Others, however, still planned on holding services despite the risk of the coronavirus, forcing some states to threaten repercussions to anyone who attended such an event.
‘Satan and a virus will not stop us,’ said the Reverend Tony Spell, 42, pastor of the evangelical Life Tabernacle Church near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said before Easter Sunday.
In Kentucky, state police were recording license plates of anyone who broke the rules by attending church gatherings, and faced a 14-day quarantine if they were caught, while in Mississippi, people were fined $500 for attending a ‘drive-in’ service.
The United States of America has now seen 561,767 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, and 22,129 deaths, with hot-spots including New York, Massachusetts and Michigan
With its 561,769 cases as of the 12 April, the U.S has seen more cases than any other country in the world
The U.S has also now seen more deaths than any other country in the world, overtaking Italy and Spain