A Holland, Mich. pastor is under fire after he encouraged the members of his congregation to catch the coronavirus and “get it over with” in a sermon last month.
Senior pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church Bart Spencer, told his congregation in a November 14 sermon, “COVID, it’s all good. Several people have had COVID, none have died yet. It’s OK. Get it, get it over with, press on.”
The sermon was videotaped and is available for public viewing on the church’s website, according to the Holland Sentinel.
According to Spencer he and several members in his family, including elderly family members, have contracted the virus, and got over it, though it would appear, based on his symptoms that it was a mild case.
“It’s not fun,” he said. “I lost my sense of taste and smell, but my bout with the flu was worse.”
Since the start of the pandemic more than 9,600 Michiganders have died from COVID-19. 115 were from Ottawa County, which includes Holland. The county also has a 16.6 percent positivity rate.
Lighthouse Baptist Church resumed in-person services in the spring. Not everyone wore mask or practiced social distancing. “We trust our people to make their own decisions,” Spencer told the Sentinel. “We respect one another’s positions.”