One of Life Tabernacle’s congregants has since died from complications due to COVID-19, and one of the church’s attorneys has been hospitalized with the disease. It is not known where the two men caught the virus. Spell denies the coroner’s report that attributes the church member’s cause of death to the coronavirus, claiming the man died of other causes.
Last week, the pastor started the #PastorSpellStimulusChallenge, requesting that people donate their stimulus money to the church to support people in ministry. Even though Life Tabernacle could apply for a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, Spell refuses to do so, saying he does not want to be dependent on the government.
Spell’s attorney sees the pastor’s arrest as an effort by the Central Police Department to shut the church down, but Corcoran said the department has no such goal. Speaking to NBC News, the police chief said, “They’re trying to make a mockery of this, like he’s some kind of victim. No one, not one person, is trying to stop him from preaching the Word.”