There are currently over 5,300 reported cases of coronavirus in Tennessee, and there have been over 100 deaths, but that isn’t stopping one antigay pastor from continuing to hold church services week after week.
Last weekend, Greg Locke of the Global Vision Bible Church in Mt. Juliet once again defied social distancing orders put in place by Gov. Bill Lee, who recently issued an executive order prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people.
On Good Friday, Locke held a live reenactment of Jesus’ crucifixion outside his church. He shared a video on Twitter showing his 16-year-old son as the bloodied Christ hanging from a cross, and his 17-year-old daughter as Mary. Locke said tons of people had stopped by to witness the performance, which lasted all day.
— Pastor Greg Locke (@pastorlocke) April 10, 2020
Then on Sunday, he welcomed over 250 people to the church for Easter services. Locke said he choose to hold the service after consulting with church staff, elders, and his congregation. He also said extra cleaning measures would be taken.
“We want people to know we are a clean environment,” he says. “We’re a safe environment.”
To help ease people’s minds, he even set up a “sanitizing station” and gave out face masks to anyone who wanted one.
Locke has repeatedly insisted that his ministry is an “essential service,” telling a local media outlet recently, “It’s important for us to remain open. It’s not because we’re trying to prove a point.”
Last year, Locke, who opposes same-sex marriage, divorced his wife of over 20 years to marry her best friend, who also worked as his administrative assistant.