Louisiana pastor who keeps holding services despite coronavirus says true Christians ‘do not mind dying’

Pastor Tony Spell has sparked controversy for holding in-person church services amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Pastor Tony Spell has sparked controversy for holding in-person church services amid the coronavirus pandemic.(Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)

The controversial Louisiana pastor who continues to hold in-person church services amid the coronavirus pandemic says true Christians “do not mind dying.”
Tony Spell of Baton Rouge’s Life Tabernacle Church defended his decision to keep his parish open after he was asked by TMZ about the possibility of a worshiper contracting COVID-19 and dying.
“Scientists need to know that God gave us a strong immune system, and the only way we’re going to destroy this virus is for, they say everybody’s gonna get it?” Spell told TMZ in an interview published Wednesday. “Then if everybody’s gonna get it, then let’s get on with life.”

Spell has garnered considerable backlash in recent weeks for defying the guidelines introduced by health and government officials against group gatherings in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus.

His church remained open last weekend for Palm Sunday after he was arrested in late March for holding services.

“People that prefer tyranny over freedom do not deserve freedom," Spell told TMZ in the new interview. “People have been locked in their homes for 23 days now like prisoners. The only vent that they have to their emotion is coming to the House of God and worshiping like free people.”

He contended that the virtual services that many parishes are holding amid the pandemic do not work, and said people in his parish die from cancer and HIV/AIDS.

“True Christians do not mind dying,” Spell said. “They fear living in fear.”

At last Sunday’s service, Spell told churchgoers that there’s “nothing to fear." Before that service, Spell said on CNN that his church drew 1,800 people the previous week.


  1. He is correct. Not only Christians, but anyone who has seen beyond the surface level of this very limited plane knows that death is only a transformation. Read the Taoists like Chuang Tzu. This entire life is an embryonic stage.

  2. Antibiotics can cure most of the infectious diseases that killed earlier generations. Our hospitals are sophisticated with latest hi-tech equipment to diagnose and treat all ailments. Bekam


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