Conservative Pastor Who Refused to Close Church Amid Coronavirus Pandemic Suggests God Will Help By Multiplying Toilet Rolls

A conservative evangelical pastor has suggested to his followers that God will help multiply their toilet rolls amid the coronavirus pandemic.

In a clip posted to Twitter, pastor Rodney Howard-Browne, leader of the Florida-based Revival Ministries International, told his congregation that "this should be a time of supernatural sustenance, where what you have in your hand will multiply."

"And every day there will be multiplications," he continued. "You look at your toilet paper and you think I'm going to run out of toilet paper, but you have another roll where that one was and you don't know how did that even take place."

Howard-Brown added: "Are the toilet paper rolls getting together and having families now? What is taking place? When you look again, there's still enough. You think you're going to run out but when you look again there's still enough. That's supernatural sustenance."

Newsweek reached out to Howard-Browne's church for comment.

As COVID-19 rapidly spread across the country, threatening American life and rattling global economies, Howard-Browne on March 16 told his followers at the River Tampa Bay Church that he will not be closing down because they are not "pansies."

"We are not stopping anything," he said. "I've got news for you, this church will never close. The only time the church will close is when the Rapture is taking place.

"This Bible school is open because we're raising up revivalists, not pansies," Howard-Browne added.

He also told his congregation to shake each other's hands, despite the federal government urging social distancing in an attempt to contain the virus. "Well I know they don't want us to do this, but just turn around and greet two, three people. Tell them you love them, Jesus loves them," Howards-Browne said, according to the website Right Wing Watch. "Listen, this has to be the safest place. If you cannot be saved in church, you in serious trouble."

President Donald Trump announced on Sunday during a coronavirus news conference from the White House that the social distancing guidelines will be extended to April 30. Trump also said he believes the death toll in America will likely peak in two weeks.

According to a tracker maintained by Johns Hopkins University, more than 720,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 globally, with 33,000 deaths and 149,000 recoveries. The United States has the most cases with nearly 140,000 confirmed cases and over 2,400 deaths related to the novel virus.

woman praying
A woman prays in Miami on March 15, 2020. Eva Marie Uzcategui/Getty