Louisiana church hosts 1,800 amid Coronavirus outbreak (Corrected)

Pastor hold services in defiance of social distancing orders, saying he'll heal the sick through the laying on of hands and power of prayer. WVLA's Abbi Rocah reports.

BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/NBC News) — More than 1,800 people attended services Sunday at Life Tabernacle Church in Central, Louisiana…in defiance of social distancing orders aimed at preventing the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

More than two dozen buses picked people up from five parishes to attend the service.

Pastor Tony Spell says the church is a staple in the community and cannot afford to close. Spell believes a pandemic can be cured through the healing hand of Jesus.

“That is our command, they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover,” Spell said.

Social distancing did not happen at the service, held outside. All 1,825 people were spread across seven buildings on the church campus.

Throughout the service parishioners could be seen touching each other and closely gathering, with very few wearing masks or gloves.

Spell says if anyone in his congregation contracts COVID-19 he will heal them through God.

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