Sanford pastor linked to virus outbreak holds weekend companies, hires lawyer

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Sanford pastor linked to virus outbreak holds weekend services, hires lawyer

The Sanford pastor — who presided over a Millinocket area wedding that has been linked to more than 140 virus cases — has hired a lawyer known nationally for defending the religious rights of churches.

The Portland Press Herald reports Todd Bell of the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford held in-person services on Sunday, but it was unclear whether the service complied with the state’s 50-person limit on indoor gatherings.

Videos posted online of the church’s services had shown that Bell has continued to hold in-person services without masks or social distancing.

Calvary Baptist itself has found at least 10 virus cases among its congregation.

In a Friday radio address, Bell said he is now working with David Gibbs III of the National Center for Life and Liberty to defend the church’s religious rights. The organization describes itself as “a legal ministry that protects the rights of churches and Christian organizations nationwide.”