Asked by CNN’s Victor Blackwell on Sunday why he is asking “people who you know don’t have much” to hand over their $1,200 stimulus checks, Spell said it was because some evangelists and missionaries don’t receive stimulus money.
“We are challenging you, if you can, give your stimulus package to evangelists and missionaries, who do not get the stimulus package,” he told CNN Sunday.
“If they close every door in this city, then I will close my doors,” Spell told CNN last month. “But you can’t say the retailers are essential but the church is not. That is a persecution of the faith.”
Spell has also told CNN he believes the pandemic is “politically motivated” and has said said the rules are a “government overreach.”
“Instead of showing the strength and resilience of our community during this difficult time, Mr. Spell has chosen to embarrass us for his own self-promotion,” said Central Police Chief Roger Corcoran said in a statement on March 31.
“Mr. Spell will have his day in court where he will be held responsible for his reckless and irresponsible decisions that endangered the health of his congregation and our community,” Corcoran added.
CNN’s Daniel Burke contributed to this report.