A Louisiana pastor was charged Tuesday after repeatedly violating a state ban on large gatherings amid the coronavirus panic, authorities said.
Mark Anthony Spell, the pastor of Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge, was issued a misdemeanor summons for six counts of violating the governor’s executive order, the Central Police Department told The Daily Beast. The counts are for each of the religious services Spell held after March 16, when Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the order banning gatherings over 50 people.
“Instead of showing the strength and resilience of our community during this difficult time, Mr. Spell has chosen to embarrass us for his own self-promotion,” Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Mr. Spell will have his day in court where he will be held responsible for his reckless and irresponsible decisions that endangered the health of his congregation and our community.”