On Saturday, a day after ABC News reported that Kansas City hospitals were being overwhelmed by new COVID-19 cases, and a day before the Associated Press reported that eight area hospitals had turned away ambulances due to a lack of space, musician-politician Sean Feucht brought his high-energy “Let Us Worship” tour to Kansas City. A video Feucht posted Sunday morning shows a mostly maskless crowd of people packed close together in a park singing, shouting, praying, and dancing.
A musician associated with controversial Northern California megachurch Bethel, Feucht ran for Congress this year as a Trump-supporting culture-warrior Republican who was endorsed by Christian nationalists, dominionists, and Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk. Feucht is holding a series of “worship protests” around the country that he says are meant to spark spiritual revival. His next stop is an event on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 25., which he is portraying as an opportunity to enlist divine support for the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. Because the mall is controlled by the National Park Service, the D.C. government’s pandemic restrictions on gatherings will not be enforced.
Feucht told Charisma CEO Stephen Strang during an Oct. 6 podcast interview that there’s a “good chance” that either President Donald Trump or Vice President Mike Pence will attend. Feucht was part of a group of religious leaders who gathered with and prayed over Trump in the White House last December.
Public health officials view Feucht’s gatherings as potential superspreader events for COVID-19.
In Shasta County, California, home to Bethel and its School of Supernatural Ministry, county officials last week confirmed 274 cases of COVID-19 connected to the school. Meanwhile, Beni Johnson, wife of Bethel founder Bill Johnson and a senior leader at the church, posted a video mocking mask-wearing requirements and calling masks “worthless.” A resident of Redding, California, where the church and school are located, told the Daily Beast last week, “We are now just days away from going into a lockdown, all thanks to Bethel, Sean Feucht, and their careless activities.”
Feucht’s gatherings have been alarming public health officials since he launched them in July in response to what he called “tyrannical” and “insane” public health restrictions on churches meant to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Feucht’s gathering in Nashville, Tennessee, last week, held without a permit, “drew large crowds of people who weren’t wearing masks,” according to a news report. It was criticized by law enforcement and public health officials. An infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University told a reporter that based on the size of the gathering he could say with “100 percent certainty” that the virus was spread at the event.
Feucht’s “Let Us Worship” tour is promoting Hold the Line, a political group he formed earlier this year after his run for Congress ended when he failed to make it through California’s primary.
Feucht describes his attendance as a teenager at anti-choice and anti-LGBTQ dominionist Lou Engle’s political “Call on the Mall” rally in 2000 as a formative experience for him. In a video promoting the Oct. 25 gathering, Feucht called Engle a “legend” and “hero.” Engle returned the favor, calling Feucht a “hinge of history” and saying he believes Feucht’s events are helping to spark a new Great Awakening.
In his conversation with Engle, Feucht said he believes the timing of the rally, nine days before the Nov. 3 election and during the Barrett confirmation process, is “a divine set-up from Heaven.”
Engle, who has frequently prayed that God would “remove” pro-choice Supreme Court justices, told Feucht he believes God set up Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Rosh Hashanah to change the public conversation “from the coronavirus to the courts because he’s bringing Roe v. Wade to court.” Engle has previously declared that Amy Coney Barrett has been prophesied and anointed by God to bring an end to abortion in the U.S.
“I understand that President Trump is a hard pill to swallow, but he’s also the most pro-life president in modern history that we’ve ever had,” Engle said, adding that he believes the 2020 election is not a referendum on Trump or Biden but a “final exam” on the church’s commitment to God’s law. Engle prayed for an end to abortion and for national spiritual revival, asking that 100,000 LGBTQ people be “saved and transformed.”
On Oct. 9, during Rick Joyner’s “Harvest Fest 2020,” Joyner, Engle, anti-choice activist Janet Porter, and religious-right “historian” and Republican activist David Barton prayed over Feucht and his Oct. 25 event. Joining them was Brad Cummings, an editor of Barton’s “Founders’ Bible,” who prayed for Barrett’s confirmation. He said God has given Feucht “favor to open the pathway for the courts.” Cummings said that God has “hand-picked a handmaiden to fill that vacancy in the court” and asked him to use Feucht’s gathering to “change the atmosphere” over Washington, D.C., and “open the door for an Esther to come in.”