Tony Spell is the Evangelical Christian pastor who leads the Life Tabernacle megachurch in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Spell has garnered international attention due to his insistence on continuing in person thousand person gatherings in his Louisiana church, claims that his parishioners would be happy to die attending his services and calls for people to donate their entire stimulus check to his church.
Unfortunately, it seems Spell has strayed from the path of Jesus when he was caught on tape driving his bus towards a protestor.
Though the state has issued stay-at-home orders, Spell has defied the new laws by continuing to hold in-person church services.
He told Insider:
"I cannot baptise people in a livestream. I can not lay hands on people in a livestream. I cannot pray for people in a livestream, and this is our biblical command — to lay hands on the sick and when they recover; baptize them by immersion in water, which we do every day."
Last week, a coroner determined one of Spell's congregants died due to the virus, making it likely many of the churchgoers at Life Tabernacle have also been exposed to it.
Yet Spell has stood firm on these large gatherings being essential, saying the corner's report was "a lie."
Spell's endangerment of the public has lead to criticism online as well as an in-person protestor, Trey Bennet, who has stood outside the church with a picket sign for days.
Newly surfaced video shows Spell backing the church bus directly towards the protestor.
Spell later admitted that he was driving towards Bennett to "confront" him, claiming the protestor was shouting obscenities.
"That man has been in front of my church driveway for three weeks now. He shoots people obscene finger gestures and shouts vulgarities."
However the same video that shows Spell's attempt to intimidate Bennett failed to corroborate Spell's claims.
Bennet denies Spell's characterization of his protest, saying:
"I haven't done anything of the sort. I just stand there with a sign. I don't say anything to anybody."
On Tuesday, April 21, Spell was arrested on 6 charges, including "aggravated assault with a deadly weapon."
By midnight that same day, however, he was released and insisting he would continue holding his in-person church services.
Perhaps, if Spell's congregants are lucky, he'll be arrested again before any more people catch the virus inside Life Tabernacle. One can only hope.