Oklahoma Pastors Isolated over Possible Coronavirus Exposure

Mar 6, 2020

Life.Church founder Rev. Craig Groeschel is staying in isolation for 14 days after potential exposure to the coronavirus at a conference in Germany last month.
Credit Life.Church

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Two leaders at an Oklahoma-based megachurch have been quarantined after learning they may have been exposed to the new coronavirus at a Germany conference where a scheduled speaker tested positive for the virus.

Rev. Craig Groeschel, Life.Church’s founder, went to speak at the Willow Creek Leadership Congress 2020, along with pastor-innovation leader Rev. Bobby Gruenewald. The leadership conference held in late February drew about 7,400 people.

Groeschel told his church family Wednesday in a “Behind the Scenes” video, which he shares monthly with members via email. On their trip back home to Edmond, the two learned of the speaker’s diagnosis.

“We decided to isolate ourselves for the full 14 days, no contact with anyone whatsoever,” Groeschel said. He did not say when he will come out of quarantine.

Gruenewald shared in a statement that they have been isolated at home, noting that they have no symptoms but are being checked on often.

The event was ended early due to the speaker’s diagnosis, conference officials said in online statement.

“In the run-up to the congress, he had personal contact with some senior people who are now in quarantine for security reasons, but according to the health authority were not contagious until the end of the congress,” the event officials said.

Life.Church is one of the largest churches in the country. Since its start in 1996, the church has accumulated about 90,000 members across the country, including a large online following. Gruenewald is also the founder of the YouVersion Bible App, a which is being used by million across the globe.

To date, the virus has infected nearly 97,000 people and killed over 3,300. Eleven of those people have died in the United States.