Tennessee pastor threatens to kick out masked church-goers

Pastor Greg Locke of Global Vision Bible Church has threatened to kick out members of the congregation if they wear masks during the COVID-19 surge.
Published: Jul. 27, 2021 at 4:10 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 27, 2021 at 10:43 PM EDT
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MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WVLT) - A pastor of a Mt. Juliet Church has threatened to kick out members of the congregation if they show up wearing masks amid a COVID-19 surge caused by the delta variant, according to a report by WKRN.

During a service at Global Vision Bible Church, Pastor Greg Locke said, “Don’t believe this delta variant nonsense. Stop it! Stop it!”

“If they go through round two and you start showing up all these masks and all this nonsense, I’ll ask you to leave,” Locke said. “I will ask you to leave. I am not playing these Democrat games up in this church. If you want to social distance, go to First Baptist Church, but don’t come to this one.”

Locke said that he was sick of pastors being afraid of the Delta variant, WKRN reported.

“Bunch of pastors talking about how much they want to see people heal,” Locke continued. “They’re afraid to baptize people because of a Delta variant. I’m sick of it.”

According to the WKRN report, in March of 2020, Pastor Locke announced he had no plans in stopping service despite warnings from Gov. Bill Lee.

“I’m not trying to be a jerk for Jesus, I’m just staying open,” Locke explained. “It’s not in our nature to just roll up shop, lock the doors and be like, ‘ok we’ll see you in a few weeks.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday recommended faculty and children wear a mask in kindergarten through 12th-grade schools and for all people, even vaccinated, wear masks indoors in areas of COVID-19 surges.

Dr. Lisa Piercey with the Tennessee Department of Health held a news briefing on July 22 as COVID-19 cases rise across the state. According to data, 97 percent of current hospitalizations are individuals that have not been vaccinated and 98 percent of deaths are among the unvaccinated. There has been a 200 percent increase in cases since July 1, TDH reported.

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