A Virginia bishop who defied warnings about the danger of religious gatherings during the pandemic and vowed to keep preaching “unless I’m in jail or the hospital” died over the weekend after contracting Covid-19, his church said.
The bishop, Gerald O. Glenn, 66, the founder and pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield, Va., died on Saturday night, according to Bryan Nevers, a church elder.
Mr. Nevers announced the death of Bishop Glenn during an Easter sermon, which was posted on the Facebook page of the Richmond-area Pentecostal congregation. He said that Bishop Glenn had transitioned from labor to reward.
“The first thing I asked God is, ‘Why?’ ” Mr. Nevers said. “The bishop has touched our lives in so many ways.”
Mother Marcietia Glenn, 65, the bishop’s wife, also tested positive for the virus, Mar-Gerie Crawley, their daughter, said in an April 4 post on the church’s Facebook page. Ms. Crawley said at the time that her father was on a ventilator at the hospital.
“It becomes very real to you,” Ms. Crawley said on Facebook. “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.”
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