"It's disappointing, as a business owner we've been doing what we can to try and comply," said a Redding business owner who did not want to be named. "I can't say it enough, it is disappointing and it endangers every one of us."
The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry proudly proclaims their teachings are "designed to equip students not just to minister in the gifts of the Spirit, but to live a supernatural lifestyle. You experience life-changing revelation about yourself and the world around you as you become aware of the Kingdom within you and are encouraged to be naturally supernatural by bringing heaven to earth wherever you go. We believe Jesus meant it when He taught us to pray 'Your Kingdom come…on earth as it is in Heaven.'"
The Local Coast Outpost reported that, "In July, Bethel Church member Sean Feucht led hundreds of tightly packed, mask-free worshipers at Redding’s Sundial Bridge in defiance of state and local health regulations. In August, Bethel leaders, including senior leader Beni Johnson and her daughter Leah, joined Feucht and thousands of others in Sacramento for another 'Let Us Worship' gathering, where the crowd sang and prayed in protest of government restrictions on places of worship."
When COVID-19 cases began rising in the Bethel population following these superspreader events, the church continued with their plans to host an in-person, two-day workshop for worshipers.
"Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry currently has 68 active positive cases of COVID-19 among BSSM students who have been instructed to isolate in their homes," Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry Director Kris Vallotton said in a statement. "All students and staff who have been in close contact with these individuals have been instructed to quarantine in their homes as well."
Vallotton added, “Our school culture values community. In this unprecedented year, our strength in building community presents challenges and a temporary need for change. We deeply care about the health of our students, and have strongly communicated to them the importance of protecting our local community in Shasta County by wearing masks, social distancing, and staying home when sick. We’re increasing both our communication and education to students about the importance of practicing these same safety measures both inside and outside the classroom."
However, Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry leader Beni Johnson said quite the opposite in her video while out shopping on the coast.
"If you do the research the masks are worthless," Johnson said. "Now we won't be shopping or giving them any money because you have to wear a stupid freaking mask."
"If she's someone that people know, no she shouldn't be online saying that," said a Shasta County high school student after seeing the video of Johnson. "If masks really didn't work, we wouldn't keep using them."
The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry slightly distanced themselves from Johnson - slightly.
"We value the freedom of every person to express their personal opinions," a statement read. "Official decisions on how Bethel Church is responding to COVID-19, implementing community health-focused efforts, and making adjustments in its ministry activities due to COVID-19 can be found at www.bethel.com/coronavirus."
Another anonymous resident responded, "If she's the leadership from the church then she's definitely not representing someone with a doctorate. I think it's for everybody's safety for our freedom and we should do the best we can to comply with the rules."
Watch the video below.
@SaysDana Bethel church Redding, senior pastor Beni Johnson mocking masks and people wearing them while visiting an… https://t.co/6n4Y5ESlwp— jamie finch (@jamie finch)1602555507.0