MILLINOCKET, Maine (AP) — The Maine pastor who presided over an East Millinocket wedding whose crowded reception has been linked to more than 140 virus cases has hired a lawyer known nationally for defending the religious rights of churches.

The Portland Press Herald reports Todd Bell of the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford held in-person services on Sunday, but it was unclear whether the service complied with the state’s 50-person limit on indoor gatherings.

Videos posted online of the church’s services had shown that Bell has continued to hold in-person services without masks or social distancing.

Calvary Baptist itself has found at least 10 virus cases among its congregation.

In a Friday radio address, Bell said he is now working with David Gibbs III of the National Center for Life and Liberty to defend the church’s religious rights. The organization describes itself as “a legal ministry that protects the rights of churches and Christian organizations nationwide.”

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Comments (3)
  1. Anthony says:

    Why does this story on the internet have a photo of hands holding a rosary attached to it? Is whoever posted it ignorant enough to think right-wing Baptists say the rosary?

  2. James Gherson says:

    Does that lawyer handle wrongful death suits ?
    Better hope so.

  3. Rich says:

    The author of the article got the initial place of the wedding/reception wrong which makes this even a bigger issue. The church of the wedding was in East Millinocket, Maine and the reception was in Millinocket, Maine. Millinocket is 230 miles from York County, where most of the COVID-19 is being spread. The pastor is from Sanford, Maine (York County). So, in no time at all, with but one or two persons as the primary spreaders, the coronavirus pandemic has increased in York County; to-date, about 175 increased cases of COVID-19 in York County attributed to this wedding 230 miles away in Millinocket, Maine and most sadly, 7 additional deaths, with none of the 7 people having attended the wedding or reception. Oh yea, the York County Jail also has a spike in COVID-19 cases attributed to this wedding in Millinocket, Maine, 230 miles away. I live in York County.

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