Church leaders react to new recommendation to pause in-person services

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDKY) – In another attempt at getting the spread of COVID-19 under control, the governor is turning to Kentucky churches.

A conference call with faith leaders from across the state ended with a call to action when Gov. Andy Beshear asked houses of worship to switch to virtual-only services.

“I think we have at least 35 examples in the last six weeks of spread in and around a house of worship,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s not just worship services but potlucks and other gatherings.”

The recommendation requests services remain virtual-only from Friday, Nov. 19 through Dec. 13.

It’s something First Presbyterian Church in Lexington has been doing since March, taking advantage of the setback to reach new lengths with the word of God.

“It’s been an evolving sort of awareness and of course we’ve had to grow into the technology so we’ve learned more about Facebook live, Zoom, Switcher, and bit by bit, we’ve simply adapted,” Reverend Mark Davis said. “We’re reaching people in Idaho, Washington, South Carolina, Florida, and people who have moved away.”

But, some churches remain adamant about the importance of in-person services.

Clays Mill Baptist in Jessamine county will continue offering in-person services while encouraging the most vulnerable members to watch online.

While Reverend Davis misses worshipping in person, he said right now they have a higher calling to keep each other safe.

“The church and the faith and our tradition was never the building, it was an act of service and act of compassion to other people,” Davis said.

Gov. Beshear said this is not a mandate, but he hopes churches will take it just as seriously.

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