Saturday, September 5, 2020

The Mask-Defying Church at Center of Disastrous Maine Wedding Linked to 3 Deaths, 144 Virus Cases

The wedding at the Big Moose Inn has now been linked to three deaths and 144 coronavirus cases. But the pastor who officiated it doesn’t seem bothered. Twitter/Calvary Baptist Church

By Kelly Weill

Maine’s biggest COVID-19 outbreak is linked to a wedding officiated by the pastor of a distancing-defying church who says masks are part of a “socialistic platform.” Now more than 144 COVID-19 patients have been linked to the event, and three people are dead.

Todd Bell is pastor of the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford, Maine. Famous for flying between ministries in multiple states on his private plane (God “burdened” his heart to do airplane ministry, he says), Bell flew in to officiate a rural Maine wedding on August 7.

That wedding is the nexus of 144 COVID-19 cases, including three that resulted in deaths, Maine officials said Friday. One of the deceased, an 83-year-old woman, did not even attend the wedding, but contracted the virus from a guest. None of this appears to be stopping Bell from doing business as usual in his church, calling on worshippers to trust “God, not government” as the pandemic progresses.  Read more >>