(CNN) – Remember the Louisiana pastor who defied the governor’s order not to hold gatherings larger than 50 people? He held services again on Sunday, and he plans to do so yet again on Tuesday night. On Sunday, Pastor Tony Spell said, his Life Tabernacle Church in Baton Rouge drew about 1,000 people to its services, in part by busing people in from across five parishes.
On Tuesday evening, the pastor plans to hold services again, despite the governor’s stay-at-home orders, a petition seeking his arrest and a flood of criticism from fellow Christians. “If they close every door in this city, then I will close my doors,” Spell told CNN on Tuesday. “But you can’t say the retailers are essential but the church is not. That is a persecution of the faith.” Spell has told CNN he believes the pandemic is “politically motivated.”