A megachurch pastor who attended the Rose Garden event has tested positive.

The California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie is the latest prominent attendee at the Sept. 26 Supreme Court nomination ceremony at the White House to test positive for the coronavirus. He announced the test results Monday and said he was in isolation.

“If the president of the United States can get it, obviously anybody can get it,” Mr. Laurie said in a video posted on social media. In an interview with Christianity Today, Mr. Laurie said he was not sure he was infected at the Rose Garden event, and urged Americans not to blame the White House for his infection.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus has become very politicized,” he said. “I wish we could all set aside our partisan ideas and pull together to do everything we can to defeat this virus and bring our nation back.”

Mr. Laurie was one of many high-profile Christian leaders who attended the ceremony. Another — the Rev. John I. Jenkins, the president of the University of Notre Dame —  announced on Friday that he tested positive.

Several of the attendees have since preached in person at church services or have been photographed at other public events, suggesting that they are not following C.D.C. recommendations for quarantine after their exposure in the Rose Garden.

Jerry Prevo, the acting president of Liberty University, announced on Friday that he and his wife had both tested negative. He posted photographs the next day in which he and his wife are seen mingling closely indoors with people not wearing masks.

A representative for Robert Morris, a Dallas-area megachurch pastor who preached in person last weekend, said on Monday that he “does not have any Covid-related symptoms,” but he declined to say whether he had been tested.

Another Dallas-area pastor, Jack Graham, also preached in person at his church on Sunday morning. “I am ridiculously healthy,” he told his congregation, who responded with applause. “I don’t have Covid, let’s just put it that way.” A spokeswoman for Mr. Graham said that he has been tested twice since the Rose Garden event and that both tests have been negative. The spokeswoman said he has consulted with his personal physician about his activities since the event, but declined to offer information on the timing of his tests.

Mr. Graham said during the service that he flew to Atlanta last Wednesday to meet with Vice President Mike Pence, who spoke at an indoor event hosted by the Faith and Freedom Coalition that was attended by some of the same evangelical leaders. A spokeswoman for the group’s head, Ralph Reed, said he tested negative on Wednesday before the vice president’s arrival. The spokeswoman said seating at the event was arranged in consultation with local health officials, and that attendees were encouraged to wear masks.

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California megachurch pastor Greg Laurie tests positive for COVID-19 after attending Rose Garden ceremony

Greg Laurie, pastor of the Riverside-based megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship, confirmed Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19 after visiting Washington, D.C.

Christian Broadcasting News reported Monday, Oct. 5, that Laurie, 67, attended several prayer rally events in Washington, D.C., with Vice President Mike Pence more than a week ago, as well as the White House Rose Garden ceremony on Sept. 26 to announce the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Donald Trump and several members of his inner circle who attended the White House event have tested positive for COVID-19.

Attended Prayer March 2020

Hours before the Rose Garden ceremony, Laurie attended Prayer March 2020, organized by evangelist Franklin Graham and held on the Mall in Washington. Video from the event shows thousands of participants, many of whom were not wearing protective masks or practicing social distancing, kneeling in small prayer groups and waving flags.

In a separate video, Laurie is shown offering a prayer during the march while standing next to Graham. Neither man was wearing a face covering.

Many other faith leaders who attended the Rose Garden event have said they have since tested negative for the virus, but not all are adhering to Centers for Disease Control guidelines, which recommend quarantining for 14 days after spending more than 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, according to Religion News Service.

In quarantine since Friday

In a Facebook post, Laurie said he tested positive Friday and, since then, has been in quarantine with his wife, Cathe.

“I am happy to report that all members of my family have tested negative for COVID,” Laurie said in the post Monday. “My symptoms have been mild so far, and I expect to make a full recovery. I have always taken the coronavirus seriously, and it has tragically taken many lives.

“At a time like this, we need to pray for those that have it and avoid politicizing it. If our President and First Lady can get COVID-19, clearly anyone can. I chose to first tell those I was directly in touch with and the congregation I pastor. Thank you for your concern and prayers. I hope to see you all soon.”

In the video message, Laurie said his symptoms include fatigue, aches, pain, difficulty tasting food and boredom.

“I want to get out again doing what I’m called to do,” he said. “It’s important as Christians for us to be reminded that God’s in control of our lives. I don’t know why he allows me to get it but I got it  And I know he will get me through it as he has always been faithful to me in the past. Ultimately, I also know my times are in his hands. When that moment comes for me to leave this world I’ll leave. And I won’t leave a moment before and I won’t leave a moment after.”

Harvest officials did not immediately comment on Laurie’s diagnosis.

Well wishes

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Southern California pastor at Rose Garden event has COVID-19

Harvest Christian Fellowship senior pastor Greg Laurie tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a White House event.

Harvest Christian Fellowship senior pastor Greg Laurie tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a White House event.

The Orange County Register via AP

The Southern California megachurch leader who attended the White House Rose Garden ceremony announcing Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett has contracted COVID-19.

Harvest Christian Fellowship senior pastor Greg Laurie tested positive for the illness caused by the coronavirus after the Sept. 26 ceremony in Washington, The Orange County Register reported.

Laurie, who leads the 15,000-member Riverside-based congregation which is said to be one of California’s and the nation’s largest churches, is now among the growing list of Rose Garden attendees and members of President Donald Trump’s inner circle to test positive for COVID-19.

Laurie, 67, addressed parishioners via Facebook on Monday, confirmed he was diagnosed Friday and has since been in quarantine. Laurie’s family has tested negative.

In the nearly two-minute recording, Laurie said he first felt fatigued, achy and feverish.

“Then I found out the news I didn’t want to find out — that I actually have the coronavirus,” Laurie said. He added that he hoped for people to put politics aside and “show compassion to people who are struggling with this. It’s real. It really is a pandemic that has swept the nation and even the world. If the president of the United States can get it, anybody can get it.’”

Laurie described his symptoms as mild — he has trouble tasting food, for instance — and that he’s bored, telling parishioners that “I want to get out doing what I’m called to do.”

“It’s important as Christians for us to be reminded that God’s in control of our lives,” Laurie continued on the recording. “I don’t know why he allowed me to get it, but I got it and I know he will get me through it as he has always been faithful to me in the past.”

Laurie attended a large prayer service at the Washington Mall sponsored by evangelist Franklin Graham that attracted thousands in the hours before the Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony, the OC Register reported. A video of the service posted by the Southern California newspaper shows Laurie and Graham. Neither were wearing face coverings as Laurie led a prayer among the tightly grouped throng.

Few wore face coverings at the White House ceremony that followed, an event that is now being seen as a “superspreader” event that may have infected at least eight people, including the president and first lady Melania Trump; Sens. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina; Trump press secretary Kayleigh McEneny and presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway.

Another attendee, The Rev. John Jenkins, University of Notre Dame president, has also tested positive.

Coney Barrett is a Notre Dame graduate.

Jenkins did not wear a face covering. He later apologized to the Notre Dame community, saying in a statement that he “failed to lead by example,” the South Bend (Indiana) Tribune reported.

Trump was hospitalized for several days at Walter Reed National

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Riverside pastor who was at Rose Garden event has COVID-19

RIVERSIDE — The head of a Southern California megachurch said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19, joining a list that includes President Donald Trump and key White House contacts who attended a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden last month.

Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside said in a Facebook post that he tested positive last Friday and has been in quarantine, although his wife and other family members tested negative for the virus.

“My symptoms have been mild so far, and I expect to make a full recovery. I have always taken the coronavirus seriously, and it has tragically taken many lives,” Laurie said in a Facebook post. “At a time like this, we need to pray for those that have it and avoid politicizing it. If our President and First Lady can get COVID-19, clearly anyone can.”

In an accompanying video message, Laurie said his symptoms included fatigue, aches and pains. He also said he has lost a couple of pounds because “things don’t taste right to me,” and has been dealing with boredom.

Laurie attended the Sept. 26 Prayer March on the National Mall with Vice President Mike Pence and later that day was at a Rose Garden ceremony where Trump formally announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. That event is now regarded as a potential infection nexus because there was little social distancing and many attendees — including Laurie — didn’t wear masks.

A COVID-19 outbreak has sickened over a dozen close contacts of the president over the last week. Most also attended the Rose Garden ceremony, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee; Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina; Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and press secretary Kayleigh McEneny.

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Dallas-area Pastor Jack Graham opts not to follow CDC guidelines in wake of Rose Garden COVID exposure

Updated Oct. 5 at 8:15 p.m. to include additional information.

WASHINGTON — Dallas-area megachurch Pastor Jack Graham has declined to follow medical guidelines despite being in close contact with people who have since tested positive for the coronavirus after a Sept. 26 Rose Garden ceremony, telling his congregation, “I am ridiculously healthy.”

The 70-year-old leader of Prestonwood Baptist Church attended the ceremony at the White House where President Donald Trump formally announced his nomination of conservative Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court. Since the event, at least 10 attendees have tested positive for the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who was photographed sitting directly behind Graham. Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., was sitting next to Graham and also later tested positive.

Graham, Laurie and Christie were among the vast majority of people not wearing a mask at the event.

Robert Morris, the senior pastor at Gateway Church in Southlake, was photographed at the Rose Garden ceremony without a mask. He was seated directly behind Notre Dame President John Jenkins, who was also unmasked and later tested positive for the virus.

A spokesperson for the church declined to comment on if Morris had been tested for the virus and was quarantining following his exposure.

A maskless Graham led his church’s service on Sunday and was photographed having a conversation with several worshippers afterward by a member of his congregation. Graham was not wearing a mask in the photo that was shared with The Dallas Morning News.

Doctors look at a lung CT image at a hospital in Xiaogan,China.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends anyone exposed to someone who tests positive for the virus quarantine for at least 14 days following the exposure and maintain six feet of social distance from others.

“I am ridiculously healthy, let’s just put it that way,” Graham said during the service. “I’m not sick, I’m fine. … I don’t have COVID, let’s just put it that way, and I’m grateful for that.”

The CDC says symptoms of COVID-19 may appear two to 14 days after an exposure to someone infected with the virus, hence the quarantine recommendation. The Rose Garden event is still well-within that 14 day period.

A quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been infected with COVID-19 away from others to help “prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms,” according to the CDC.

People exposed to the virus can test negative before later testing positive.

Christie said he had tested negative last Tuesday ahead of the presidential debate but then tested positive on Friday. Christie was hospitalized Sunday as a precaution, he tweeted.

Graham addressed the concerns in a statement Monday but ignored questions about when his most recent test for the virus was and if he intends to quarantine for the remainder of the 14 day period since his exposure.

“As I mentioned during our weekend services, thankfully,

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Pastor who was at White House Rose Garden event has COVID-19

Video above: Experts react to President Trump’s return to White HouseThe head of a Southern California megachurch said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19, joining a list that includes President Donald Trump and key White House contacts who attended a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden last month.Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside said in a Facebook post that he tested positive last Friday and has been in quarantine, although his wife and other family members tested negative for the virus.“My symptoms have been mild so far, and I expect to make a full recovery. I have always taken the coronavirus seriously, and it has tragically taken many lives,” Laurie said in a Facebook post. “At a time like this, we need to pray for those that have it and avoid politicizing it. If our president and first lady can get COVID-19, clearly anyone can.”In an accompanying video message, Laurie said his symptoms included fatigue, aches and pains. He also said he has lost a couple of pounds because “things don’t taste right to me,” and has been dealing with boredom.Laurie attended the Sept. 26 Prayer March on the National Mall with Vice President Mike Pence and later that day was at a Rose Garden ceremony where Trump formally announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. That event is now regarded as a potential infection nexus because there was little social distancing and many attendees — including Laurie — didn’t wear masks.A COVID-19 outbreak has sickened over a dozen close contacts of the president over the last week. Most also attended the Rose Garden ceremony, including First Lady Melania Trump; Sen. Mike Lee of Utah; Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina; Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany.

Video above: Experts react to President Trump’s return to White House

The head of a Southern California megachurch said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19, joining a list that includes President Donald Trump and key White House contacts who attended a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden last month.

Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside said in a Facebook post that he tested positive last Friday and has been in quarantine, although his wife and other family members tested negative for the virus.

“My symptoms have been mild so far, and I expect to make a full recovery. I have always taken the coronavirus seriously, and it has tragically taken many lives,” Laurie said in a Facebook post. “At a time like this, we need to pray for those that have it and avoid politicizing it. If our president and first lady can get COVID-19, clearly anyone can.”

In an accompanying video message, Laurie said his symptoms included fatigue, aches and pains. He also said he has lost a couple of pounds because “things don’t taste right to me,” and has been dealing with boredom.

Laurie attended

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California pastor who was at Rose Garden event has COVID-19

Updated

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — The head of a Southern California megachurch said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19, joining a list that includes President Donald Trump and key White House contacts who attended a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden last month.

Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside said in a Facebook post that he tested positive last Friday and has been in quarantine, although his wife and other family members tested negative for the virus.

“My symptoms have been mild so far, and I expect to make a full recovery. I have always taken the coronavirus seriously, and it has tragically taken many lives,” Laurie said in a Facebook post. “At a time like this, we need to pray for those that have it and avoid politicizing it. If our President and First Lady can get COVID-19, clearly anyone can.”



In an accompanying video message, Laurie said his symptoms included fatigue, aches and pains. He also said he has lost a couple of pounds because “things don’t taste right to me,” and has been dealing with boredom.

Laurie attended the Sept. 26 Prayer March on the National Mall with Vice President Mike Pence and later that day was at a Rose Garden ceremony where Trump formally announced the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. That event is now regarded as a potential infection nexus because there was little social distancing and many attendees — including Laurie — didn’t wear masks.


A COVID-19 outbreak has sickened over a dozen close contacts of the president over the last week. Most also attended the Rose Garden ceremony, including Utah Sen. Mike Lee; Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina; Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and press secretary Kayleigh McEneny.

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California pastor who attended White House Rose Garden event says he has COVID-19

Prominent Riverside pastor Greg Laurie has tested positive for COVID-19, he announced Monday, the latest person tied to an outbreak at the White House.

The pastor of the megachurch Harvest Christian Fellowship was an attendee at the Rose Garden on Sept. 26 when President Donald Trump announced the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. At least 11 attendees of the large gathering – at which there was no social distancing and few people wore masks – have since tested positive for the virus, including the president and first lady Melania Trump.

Laurie, who tested positive Friday, has since quarantined and has experienced fatigue, aches, a fever and a loss of taste, which he described as a Romans 8:28 moment. The biblical Scripture verse states: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

“I wish at a time like this we could not politicize something like this,” Laurie said in a video announcing his diagnosis. “It’s real.”

“If the president of the United States can get it, obviously anyone can get it,” said the pastor, whose wife, Cathy, is also quarantining with him. Laurie said his immediate family members have tested negative.

On Palm Sunday in April, Trump said he was going to tune into Laurie’s service, which typically draws 15,000 to his church in Riverside. Laurie, who also operates the massive annual Harvest Crusade event at Angel Stadium, gave his sermon without an audience amid concerns over the spreading coronavirus but filmed a greeting for “a very special guest.”

While some pastors have defied stay-at-home orders, Laurie has urged people to be careful and stay safe.

“Because, look, you could be a young person, and you could get COVID-19, maybe not even be aware of it, and then pass it on to Grandma without even realizing it,” he said at the April service. “Let’s respect one another. Let’s care about one another.”

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Georgia pastor shocks pregnant Waffle House waitress with $12G tip after learning special detail about baby

What’s in a name?

A Georgia pastor recently gave a Waffle House waitress the surprise of a lifetime after raising a $12,000 tip for the pregnant server, after learning that the woman’s unborn child will have the same name as his late son.

Bishop Eusebio Phelps ordered an All-Star breakfast special from a Stockbridge location of the diner chain last week, and was struck by server Hannah Hill’s kindness, Fox 5 reports.

A Georgia pastor recently gave a Waffle House waitress the surprise of a lifetime after raising a $12,000 tip for the pregnant server.

A Georgia pastor recently gave a Waffle House waitress the surprise of a lifetime after raising a $12,000 tip for the pregnant server.
(New Faith Christian Church)

“She was so nice over the telephone, and when I got there I paid for my food and I told her to keep the change,” Phelps told WXIA-TV. “And then when I looked at her, I asked if she was pregnant — she said yes so at that time I was just really urged to give her the rest of the money that I had in my wallet, which was around $40. And so I gave her the $40 and I told her that I just wanted to be able to bless her so she could buy something for the baby.”

AMERICA TOGETHER: UPLIFTING IMAGES FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY

With just a few weeks to go until her due date, Hill revealed that she planned to name her unborn son Samuel.

Phelps, the leader of New Faith Christian Church, felt that it was a divine sign. His son Samuel died in Atlanta seven years ago, and the anniversary is coming up soon.

"We are so appreciative of the kind gesture made by Bishop Phelps and all of the others who contributed on behalf of our Associate, Hannah Hill," a rep for Waffle House told Fox News.

“We are so appreciative of the kind gesture made by Bishop Phelps and all of the others who contributed on behalf of our Associate, Hannah Hill,” a rep for Waffle House told Fox News.
(iStock)

“I went home, I told my wife what happened… I was like, ‘Listen I wanna raise a thousand dollars to give to Hannah so she can buy whatever she needs for the baby,’” the pastor told the outlet.

Moved, Phelps shared Hill’s story on Facebook. Within about a day, supporters raised over $12,000, per WXIA.

Hill, meanwhile, had no idea it was coming.

“I was asleep in the car and my mother-in-law called and said, ‘You’ve got to get down to the Waffle House now,’” Hill told Fox 5.

Arriving at the restaurant, she was surprised to be greeted by cheering customers and a check for the generous gratuity during what Phelps called “a surprise baby shower.”

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According to Hill, already a mom of one, the tremendous tip will be life-changing.

“Makes me wanna get back in church," Hill said of the chance encounter, and serious surprise.

“Makes me wanna get back in church,” Hill said of the chance encounter, and serious surprise.
(New Faith Christian Church)

“I had a lot going on, and I don’t really pray that often,” she told WXIA. “I’m not necessarily that religious, I wasn’t really raised in the church, don’t go to church a lot, haven’t cracked open a Bible in forever. But lately I

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