FONTANA, Calif. — The congregation of a California megachurch is grieving after an associate pastor died from COVID-19 complications this week.
According to the Los Angeles Times and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, the Water of Life Community Church in Fontana announced that Associate Pastor Bob Bryant, 58, died Monday, leaving behind his wife, Lori, and four children.
The news came less than two weeks after he tested positive for the novel coronavirus, Lori – who also contracted COVID-19 – wrote in a Facebook post.
“I had no symptoms, and Bob had most of the symptoms,” she wrote Nov. 23, days after their diagnosis. “We were hoping he was turning for the good, but things went very bad very quickly today.”
KNBC reported that it wasn’t clear where or how Bryant contracted the virus; however, Water of Life resumed indoor services Oct. 31, violating a state order, according to the Times. A representative for the church, which continued to require face masks and social distancing for indoor services, told the newspaper that San Bernardino County officials knew the congregation was meeting inside.
“We’re not trying to break rules,” the senior pastor’s executive assistant, Susan DePaola, told the Times.
The church said it will hold a memorial service – which people can attend indoors, outdoors or virtually – for Bryant on Monday.
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