There is an old joke that goes like this:
A man was stuck in his house when a very sudden flood hit his town and flooded the first floor of his house. He ran upstairs to get above the rising waters, and saw outside of his window a neighbor in a boat. The neighbor saw him through the window and shouted, “get in, we’re evacuating!”
The man shook his head and said, “no, I trust that God will keep me safe.”
The neighbor, startled, paddled away alone, and as the waters kept rising, they started flooding the second floor of the house. The man climbed out of his window and then made his way to the roof, where he saw another neighbor approach in a motorboat.
“Get in,” said the second neighbor. “We need to evacuate the town. The water is only going to keep rising!”
“No, thank you,” said the man. “I trust that God will keep me safe.”
The motorboat sped away, but shortly after, as the waters continued to rise, a FEMA helicopter showed up and lowered a ladder to the roof of the house. The man waved away the ladder amidst the noise of the helicopter, still believing that God would save him. However, the waters continued to rise, and with nowhere to go, the man drowned.
When he got to the Pearly Gates, he was bewildered. “I had faith that you would save me!”
The Almighty voice answered, “I sent you two boats and a helicopter. What did you want, a red carpet?”
It seems a lot of pastors in the United States missed the point of that joke during the Covid-19 pandemic, as they rallied until the bitter end against masks, social distancing, or vaccines, believing that Jesus was the only vaccine they needed. It never occurred to them that masks, social distancing, and vaccines might just be the method Jesus would use to protect them, and they spent their time fighting against them.
Here is a list of several pastors who died of Covid after spurning measures intended to protect them and their congregation from it. If you know of any others, post them in the comments.
Gerald O. Glenn
One of the early Covid-19 deaths was of a Chesterfield, Virginia bishop in April 2020 who defied lockdown warnings and insisted on continuing to hold services “unless I’m in jail or the hospital,” insisting that “I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus.”
Harry R. Jackson, Jr.
A Maryland pastor who attended the nomination in November 2020 of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The event was later determined to be a “superspreader” event that led to an outbreak at the White House.
In August 2021, guest pastor Wade Morris, who was a fitness enthusiast who had run over a dozen marathons, died of Covid weeks after speaking at a youth Christian Summer camp that hosted over 4,000 people. On his web site, Morris claimed that “no amount of encouragement will get me vaccinated.”
Jimmy DeYoung Sr.
A Tennessee pastor who also hosted the syndicated radio program Prophesy Today since 1968 died in August 2021 after a short battle with Covid. He had discouraged his followers from being vaccinated.
A pastor in Hitchcock, Texas died of Covid-19 in August 2021 after not receiving the vaccine after he and his wife considered getting it but never actually did.