A North Carolina preacher continued to hold church services packed with people in defiance of calls to close down and despite claiming that he had coronavirus-related symptoms. Pastor Brian Carn conducted services on Easter Sunday at Kingdom City Church in Charlotte, North Carolina without wearing a mask or protective clothing while coming within feet of the congregation, according to a report by the Daily Mail.
The report said that the pastor had, ahead of these services, sent a private audio recording to church members saying he suffered from coronavirus-related symptoms, including pain, shakes and a cough.
“Does the devil fight my body?” Carn could be heard saying in the audio recording. “Of course. Just like he fights your body. Did I get the shakes? Yup. Did I cough? Yup. Did I feel pain in my body? Whatever.”
“I tested positive for faith,” the 31-year-old said while encouraging his members to believe in the healing power of God. He, nevertheless, permitted anyone who got sick and needed to see a doctor to do so, even though they shouldn’t mention that they attend his church.
“…Don’t tell them you go to KCC, please tell them you go to First Baptist Elevation or St Matthews Methodist church. Let’s fight the good fight of faith.”
“I command you to live, not die. I speak to your respiratory system I speak to your lungs. I speak to your taste buds and speak to your smelling.
“I ground the activity of the enemy. I terminate his movement, I oppose whatever he’s trying to do undercover by the authority of the blood and the power of the sacrifice of the lamb.
“I command you to be healed today … I’m gonna tell you right now. You go to the doctor, they gonna tell you, you got it.
“But here’s the word of the Lord whose report will you believe and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed. That’s our word. I tested positive for faith.
“Be encouraged. I’m healed. I’m delivered. you be healed so that you can have divine exemption from the Coronavirus,” he said.
In Mecklenburg County where Carn’s church is located, there have been over 1,200 coronavirus infections and 31 deaths, and there are fears that his insistence to hold church services could spread the deadly virus more.
The Florida-native is among the scores of preachers who have been criticized for holding services despite lockdown measures.
This month, an evangelical pastor in Virginia, Gerald Glenn, who refused to stop holding church services in spite of state warnings, died of the coronavirus after fighting for his life in a hospital for about a week.
Glenn’s daughter, Mar-Gerie Crawley, told local news WTVR that her father had, at the beginning of the symptoms, dismissed concerns. Glenn had an underlying condition that often led to fever.
In the case of Carn, a spokesman for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said: ‘The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Prophet Brian Carn in an effort to communicate the provisions of the executive order. The department will continue our efforts.”
In Mecklenburg County, even though authorities banned mass gatherings in March and demanded the immediate closure of gyms, fitness centers, health clubs and theaters, it made an exception for places of worship.
Officials have, however, strongly urged that all churches comply with the order.