Bishop Gerald Glenn, the pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Virginia has died, after testing positive for coronavirus. The founder and leader of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield since 1995, Bishop Gerald Glenn was reportedly a police officer before becoming a pastor. He was the first black chaplain of that community's police department.

bishop Glenn
bishop Glenn

Glenn 'was not afraid to die'

In a sermon on March 22, a day before Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued his executive order banning all public and private gatherings of 10 people or more, Glenn told his congregation, "I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus," and announced he was not afraid to die.

Gerald Glenn's death was announced by the church. The church's post asked that others would allow the "First Family to grieve in their own way."

"While they are mourning the heartbreaking earthly absence of their family patriarch & spiritual father, they also have family members who are struggling to survive this dreaded pandemic," the church's Facebook post read.

Bishop's controversial statement

Glenn preached in church about the virus in March 22, encouraging people not to be afraid on the contagion. According to the media reports, Glenn told his congregation that "I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus," five days after the government had urged people to "avoid non-essential gatherings of more than 10 people."

bishop Glenn
bishop Glenn

On March 23 Virginia Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam ordered nonessential businesses closed and banned all gatherings of more than 10 people.

Bishop's mother tests positive

Additionally, Glenn's wife, Mother Marcietia Glenn, was also diagnosed with Covid-19.

Glenn was a friend and a pillar of the region's faith community, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., tweeted Sunday. "My heart sinks as I learn this morning that Bishop Gerald Glenn, pastor of New Deliverance Evangelistic Church, died yesterday from COVID-19," Kaine said. "May all do as much for so many."

"We still believe in God for healing right now," The New Deliverance community church Elder Bryan Nevers said on the Sunday video. "Our bishop always told us, even as they wheeled him into the operating room, he proclaimed that God is still a healer. . . I don't know how, but I have to say: God will get the glory from this," he added.

Bishop's sister speaks in her Facebook post: