Louisiana pastor defied pandemic restrictions at his church -- now one of his parishioners is dead from COVID-19

A parishioner at the Life Tabernacle Church in Central, Louisiana has reportedly died from the coronavirus weeks after the church's pastor defied his state's ban on large gatherings to hold packed church services.

Local news station KALB reports that a coroner's report of a 78-year-old parishioner of the church revealed that he had died after being infected with COVID-19.

"The coroner’s report lists the man’s cause of death as acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and COVID-19," KALB reports. "Acute respiratory distress syndrome and pneumonia are frequently found in patients who die of coronavirus."

However, Pastor Tony Spell, who earlier this week encouraged his followers to send their stimulus checks to evangelists in lieu of buying food, denied that the parishioner had really died from the disease, despite medical science saying otherwise.

"That is a lie!" he told KALB, although he did not cite any concrete evidence to back up his claims.