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Pastor Greg Locke Says It Will Take ‘Entire U.S. Military’ to Shut His Church Over COVID

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Controversial pastor Greg Locke said in a fiery Easter Sunday sermon that it would take the “entire U.S. military” to shut his church down over COVID-19 fears.

Pastor Locke, leader of the Global Vision Bible Church in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, hit out against any suggestion that he would close the church due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The Liberty Buzz reviewed a video of the sermon titled “Signs of A Lukewarm Heart” uploaded to Locke’s Facebook page on April 4. He told his packed congregation, seated in a tent outside, that the church would stay open “forever,” even if confronted by the military.

The firebrand pastor added: “They will roll up in tanks. They will drop down from helicopters. And I promise you, it won’t be a dozen police out there from Wilson County and Mt. Juliet. It’s going to take the entire United States military to roll up into this parking and tell us, ‘Hey, we can’t worship Jesus, and that we got to shut our church down and that we can’t preach, and we can’t pray.

“You have lost your mind if you think I’ve given in to that! You have lost your mind if you think I’m giving into that mess! We are staying open forever.”

Pastor Locke’s comments come after many churches across the country closed due to the pandemic.

He also hit out against his mask-wearing attendees, comparing them to sheep, after he referenced Isaiah 53:6, which reads: “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

After making the sound of a sheep, the firebrand pastor said: “Not much has changed, has it? You remember this time last year? This time last year they were like: ‘Oh my goodness, you cannot have resurrection service. You will kill everybody.'”

He later continued: “And so the media started infusing us with fear tactics. You see, they know this verse apparently. They know that people willfully ignorant of scripture will obey any ridiculous mandate that the media gives them because it makes them feel better about themselves.”

Pastor Locke added: “We are staying open forever. And unless you’re under a doctor’s orders, and a few of you are, take them stupid masks off when you come to Global Vision.”

His comments were met with cries of support from the tightly-packed congregation before he again mocked mask-wearers by making a sheep noise.

The controversial comments go against CDC guidelines that encourage people to wear masks in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Among other recommendations, the CDC said: “People age 2 and older should wear masks in public settings and when around people who don’t live in their household.”

More than 554,000 people have died in the U.S. from COVID-19, according to the CDC.

Despite the risks posed by COVID-19, pastor Locke has previously said he would defy any orders to close and would continue to keep his church open.

In July last year, he was determined to continue holding in-person services, without attendance caps, regardless of the risks posed by COVID-19.

Pastor Locke’s church continued to hold services outdoors, where more than 10 people were present, which was against Tennessee’s stay-at-home order when it was in force.

In a July 24 video uploaded to the church’s Facebook page, he told his congregation: “I’m telling you, I will go to jail before I will close our church.”

He continued: “They will be selling Frosty’s in the lake of fire before Greg Locke and Global Vision Bible Church ever closes down.

“I don’t care if they send the military, they roll up with tanks…ladies and gentleman, we are staying open. We are packed to capacity. You ain’t gotta wear a mask.”

The Liberty Buzz has contacted Global Vision Bible Church for comment.

Pastor Greg Locke said it would take the “entire” U.S. military to close down his church. In this photo, the Global Vision Bible Church leader holds services in the church parking lot on March 29, 2020 in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. Gov. Bill Lee signed an executive order that prohibits social gatherings of 10 or more in response to coronavirus (COVID-19), which is also recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Brett Carlsen / Stringer/Getty

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