(NEW YORK POST) — A Louisiana pastor who caught heat for ignoring social-distancing guidelines by holding in-person church services is now urging people to donate their coronavirus stimulus checks to evangelists.
The Rev. Tony Spell is imploring followers to join a new online challenge he dubbed the #PastorSpellStimulusChallenge because churches have been starved of “offerings” amid the pandemic, he said in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday.
“Donate it to evangelists, North American evangelists who haven’t had an offering in a month; missionaries, who haven’t had an offering in a month; music ministers, who haven’t had an offering in a month,” Spell, of Baton Rouge, says in the video.
He then tells viewers the challenge starts Sunday and that they can donate via his website.
“I’m donating my entire stimulus, $1,200,” he says. “My wife is donating her stimulus, $1,200. My son is donating his stimulus, $600.”
Spell was hit with a summons earlier this month for holding services in violation of the state’s order banning gatherings. His personal lawyer was later hospitalized with the coronavirus, according to wwltv.com.
Workers with an income under $75,000 will receive a $1,200 coronavirus stimulus check under legislation that passed last month.