Four Willow Creek summit staffers have coronavirus

Published 10 March 2020  |  
(Photo: Facebook/Willow Creek Germany)
The Willow Creek Leadership Summit in Germany ended a day early after a speaker was confirmed to have coronavirus.

Four people involved with the Willow Creek Leadership Summit in Germany last month are now confirmed to have coronavirus.

The summit, in Karlsruhe, was forced to end a day earlier than scheduled after an unnamed speaker was diagnosed with the virus, which has been sweeping Europe.

The three-day gathering was due to end on February 29 but organisers took the decision to cancel the remainder of the event on February 28.

At the time, the organisers said that the speaker had not been present at the summit at any time up to that point and that the conference was being closed as a precautionary measure.

A further three people connected to the summit have now been diagnosed with the virus, the Idea news agency in Germany reports.

Karl-Heinz Zimmer, head of Willow Creek Germany, told Idea that a pre-summit dinner was attended by 22 speakers and staffers, including a German pastor who later tested positive for coronavirus.

Following the diagnosis, participants in the dinner self-quarantined for 14 days. Zimmer said that not all of those in quarantine had been tested as the response of the German health authorities has been varied.

However, he said that those confirmed to be infected have "only light symptoms".

Last week, conference speaker Craig Groeschel and his co-pastor from Life.Church, Oklahoma, Bobby Gruenewald went into self-isolation after learning of the infection while enroute back to the US.

Lothar Krauss, pastor of the Church in the Brewery, in Gifhorn, Lower Saxony, and board member of Willow Creek Germany, also went into quarantine.

He told Idea it was important not to give in to panic. In an appeal for calm, he called on Christians to "above all else, trust God, to whom all power belongs - even in the midst of coronavirus panic".

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