The founder and bishop of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield, Virginia, had died after beginning infected with the coronavirus, Axios reported on Tuesday.
Pastor Gerald O. Glenn rebuffed social distancing guidelines recommended to slow the spread of the viruses and continued holding church services, according to the report, even after Governor Ralph Northam issued a stay-at-home order for the state last month.
The church announced Glenn's death on Facebook, and a separate post by his daughter indicated that the pastor's wife, Mother Marcietia Glenn, has also tested positive for the virus.
“It becomes very real to you,” Mar-Gerie Crawley said in her post, speaking of her parents' illnesses. “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.”
Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) responded to the pastor's death on Twitter, writing: "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."