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(RNS) — Two pastors of one of the nation’s largest churches are being quarantined by local health authorities at home after being exposed to the new coronavirus at a leadership training conference in Germany.
Craig Groeschel, senior pastor of Oklahoma-based Life.Church, which claims nearly 90,000 attenders at its 34 campuses spread over 10 states, was a featured speaker at Willow Creek Deutschland Leitungskongress 2020, which took place Feb. 27-29 in Karlsruhe, in southwest Germany. He attended the meeting with Bobby Gruenewald, another of the church’s leaders.
The conference, which had about 7,400 attenders, was cut short after one presenter became ill with COVID-19, according to organizers. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the new coronavirus. As of Wednesday (March 4), more than 87,000 cases of the illness had been reported globally, according to the World Health Organization.
Groeschel and Gruenewald learned of their need to be quarantined while traveling back to the U.S. The two went into quarantine for 14 days after returning to their homes in the Oklahoma City suburbs, where they have had no direct contact with church members or their families.
Neither has shown any symptoms of COVID-19.
“Pastor Craig and I are at home and healthy,” Gruenewald, innovation leader for Life.Church, told Religion News Service in a statement. “While en route home from Germany, we were made aware of the situation at the conference. We immediately notified health authorities and have followed every recommendation. Out of an abundance of caution, we have been isolated in our homes the entire time, […]