Tony Spell, the pastor at the Life Tabernacle Church in Central, Louisiana has started a hashtag, #PastorSpellStimulusChallenge, to encourage churchgoers to send their stimulus money to churches and missions, reports TMZ.
Without being able to pass the collection plate on Sunday services, churches have been looking for other ways to earn cash. Despite being eligible for part of the $350 million small business relief fund, churches are now looking to pressure the faithful into giving their relief money to their pastors, not spend it on their rent or food costs.
The hashtag challenge has three rules, according to Pastor Spell:
- It starts Sunday, April 19th
- Donate your stimulus checks to the church
- Donate it to North American Evangelists and missionaries who haven't have a donations for a month
Pastor Spell and his wife are least putting their money where their mouth is and donating both of their checks. However, this is not the first time Spell has stirred up controversy during the COVID-19 pandemic. He came under fire for continuing to hold services amid social distancing orders as well. He even told TMZthat if any of his church members die from the virus, they'll have done so in the name of God and freedom.
“His challenge also doesn’t seem to consider that many people are in desperate need of their stimulus money for food, rent or bills,” says TMZ.