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U.S. megachurch pastors quarantined after coronavirus exposure

Two pastors of one of the largest churches in the nation are under home quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus during a conference in Germany.

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Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of Oklahoma-based Life.Church, which claims nearly 90,000 attenders at its 34 campuses spread over 10 states, was a featured speaker at Willow Creek Deutschland Leitungskongress 2020. He attended the meeting with Bobby Gruenewald, another of the church’s leaders.

The conference, which had about 7,400 attenders, was cut short after one presenter became ill with COVID-19, according to organizers. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus. Groeschel and Gruenewald learned of their need to be quarantined while traveling back to the United States.

The two went into quarantine for 14 days after returning to their homes in the Oklahoma City suburbs, where they have had no direct contact with church members or their families. Neither has shown any symptoms of COVID-19.

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“Pastor Craig and I are at home and healthy,” Gruenewald said in a statement. “While en route home from Germany, we were made aware of the situation at the conference. We immediately notified health authorities and have followed every recommendation. Out of an abundance of caution, we have been isolated in our homes the entire time, even limited from interaction with our families. We have no symptoms, and someone is checking on us regularly.”

The church said it already has protocols in place to keep attendees healthy during flu season and is evaluating whether additional precautions are necessary. Gruenewald said he and Groeschel remain in good spirits despite their isolation. “We’re making the most of this time to focus on ministry work and even doing some extra sit-ups and pushups.”

Gruenewald is the founder of the YouVersion Bible App, which has been downloaded more than 400 million times.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice

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