Gospel and blues musician Landon Spradlin, who pastored several different churches over the years, has died from complications of COVID-19, the Danville Register & Bee reported on Thursday.
The 66-year-old was on his way back to Virginia following a trip to New Orleans with his wife, Jean, when he began feeling ill, the Bee reports.
“The very real facts of the coronavirus, we all know it’s scary, we all know it’s real, we all know it can kill people,” said Spradlin’s daughter Judah Strickland, “but my dad loved Jesus and he spent his whole life telling people about Jesus and that’s what important to me.”
Jean Spradlin told the newspaper that her husband could barely breathe, so she took him to a hospital in Concord. The next day, Spradlin’s test came back positive for coronavirus.
As the Friendly Atheist’s Bo Gardiner reports, Spradlin had initially dismissed the coronavirus pandemic as a form of “mass hysteria” by the media.
On March 13, Spradlin shared a misleading meme that compared coronavirus deaths from early in the outbreak to 2009’s swine flu deaths.
Spradlin, according to Gardiner, acknowledged that the outbreak is a “real issue,” but added that he believes “the media is pumping out fear and doing more harm than good. It will come and it will go.”
That same day, he shared a post from another pastor that told the story of a missionary in South Africa who “protected” himself from the bubonic plague with the “Spirit of God.”
“As long as I walk in the light of that law [of the Spirit of life], no germ will attach itself to me,” read a quote from the post.