RICHMOND, Va. -- Bishop G.O. Glenn has died of complications from COVID-19, New Deliverance Evangelistic Church officials announced during Easter Sunday services.
"It is with an exceedingly sorrowful and heavy heart that I come to you this morning, and regret to inform you that on last night, April the 11th at 9 p.m., our father Bishop Gerald Glenn transitioned from labor to reward," Elder Bryan Nevers said.
"You know my heart is heavy. You know this is a tough one. You know this is a blow to the body of Christ," Pastor Joe Ellison Jr. said.
Ellison told CBS 6 that Glenn was his mentor. Someone he looked up to not only as a pastor, but as a man.
"I said this guy is not only a pastor. Even back then I saw the calling of a Bishop on his life, because he was a pastor to other pastors. And that's what made Bishop Glenn so unique," Ellison said. "He made me realize that I could be an outstanding pastor, outstanding husband, an outstanding father most importantly, an outstanding leader."
The news comes one week after the church announced Glenn and Mother Marcietia Glenn tested positive for COVID-19.
Mar-Gerie Crawley, the couple's daughter, said last Sunday that family members noticed their parents were having health issues and started searching for ways to treat their symptoms at home -- especially her dad.
"He has diverticulitis, so it's not uncommon for him to get fevers or you know virus or sinus infection," Crawley explained.
With in a week, Crawley said Bishop Glenn's health worsened after trips to to urgent care and the emergency room.
A shock to many, including Ellison, who said he and Bishop Glenn spoke over the phone after the passing of Ellison's brother. That was the last time he would hear encouraging words from his mentor.
"The last thing he said was, 'I love you son... Love your family.. and I'll see you soon,'" Ellison remembered. "Not knowing that would be the last time that I would talk to him."
Bishop Glenn's services air Sundays at 8:30 a.m. on WTVR CBS 6.
Church leaders said funeral plans "in the season a social distancing" would be released in the coming days.
"Saints, don't stop praying," Nevers said. "Our Bishop has always told us, as they wheeled him into the operating room, he will proclaim that God is still a healer. We now have a duty to embrace one another in the love of Jesus."
Church leaders thanked the community on behalf of the family for their love, support and prayers "as we now walk down this path together."
"Love on each other, Saints," Nevers said.
"Let's lift up Mother Glenn, her sisters, her family, her daughters, the whole family," Ellison said. "He loved his family. He loved his church family. He loved all his sons and daughters in the ministry. But the most important thing about Bishop Glenn, he loved his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.Avoid non-essential travel.