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Coronavirus surge casts shadow on local church services

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 1:39 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Some church leaders in the CSRA looked forward to resuming in-person services after coronavirus cases started to level off, but the opposite is happening as infections rise again. 

Some haven't even opened their doors since the stay-at-home order was lifted. And leaders at some reopened churches are waiting to see how bad things get.

Bishop T.L Reddick is the pastor of Break Free Christian Worship Covenant. 

He says he's watching the numbers closely before making the decision to reopen.

And if the latest spikes tell him anything, it's that maybe now isn't the safest time.

“We want to open our doors as soon as possible, but we want to be as cautious as possible, as well,” he said.

But others, like New Passion Church, have already opened the doors, and their leaders say they'll stay that way, at least for now.

Pastor Nick Carnes says the church is operating under 30% capacity. 

But he says leaders are always watching to see if there need to be any adjustments.

“If we feel like our people are at risk or in danger or we see it going to so high it could affect our communities and our hospitals, we would make changes based on that,” he said.

In North Augusta, First Baptist’s Dr. Stephen Cutchins says the church will remain closed until further notice.

“I continue to tell our folks the that the safest place from them to worship and socially distance during this time is from home,” he said.

Many church leaders say even though they've had to shut their doors to in-person services, their outreach efforts are at the highest point they've seen.

Cutchins says he's confident things will pick up where they once were, and has decided to look on the bright side of a very dark situation.

“I think this has been a great opportunity for the church to be disrupted in a positive way,” he said, “and to really re-evaluate what is important and how are we going to continue to accomplish the mission that we have as an organization.”

Copyright 2020 WRDW/WAGT. All rights reserved.

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