Amid the coronavirus outbreak in the US, a Florida based pastor has said he and his congregation will not follow government orders to halt mass gatherings, saying ‘The only time the church will close is when the Rapture is taking place’.
Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, a South African-born evangelical Christian , runs the Tampa-based Revival Ministries International. During a sermon on Monday at River Tampa Church, Howard-Browne urged his followers to shake each other’s hand despite the coronavirus outbreak that has killed four people so far in Florida.
‘We are not stopping anything”, Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne said on Monday.
‘I’ve got news for you, this church will never close. ‘The only time the church will close is when the Rapture is taking place.
‘This Bible school is open because we’re raising up revivalists, not pansies.’
According to Newsweek, Pastor Howard-Browne, a South African-born US citizen who first came to the United States as a missionary in 1987, told his followers;
‘Well I know they don’t want us to do this, but just turn around and greet two, three people,’ he said.
‘Tell them you love them, Jesus loves them.’
‘Listen, this has to be the safest place,’ he said during the sermon.
‘If you cannot be saved in church, you in serious trouble.’