Places of worship continue to reopen across the Mid-South months after closing their doors to congregants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have a real crisis in not just America but the world. At the same time there is Christ for the crisis,” Bishop Brandon Porter said.
Just a few months ago an usher led people to nearly all 2,000 seats in Greater Community Temple. Bishop Brandon Porter told FOX13 the nearly 2,000 seats have been cut down to just about 150 available seats due to social distancing.
“They have their own space, it’s very safe. They have to have their temperature taken. A questionnaire from the CDC they have to go through and answer correctly in order to gain access,” Porter said.
Bishop Porter decided to reopen his church the last week in May. Porter told FOX13′s Jeremy Pierre the reopening came with thorough safety procedures that begin as soon as members and visitors get to the front door.
“We stress safety. PPE’s you have to have those. Our praise singers, they sing with gloves on. We sanitize the microphones. That’s what happened at some of the churches that suffered a huge blow. They were touching, shaking hands, kissing, hugging. Doing those fellowship kind of things,” Porter said.
On Father’s Day, Greater Community Temple reopened their North Memphis location. The sanctuary can seat 600 people. Porter said only 75 people attended the service.
“The community of North Memphis wanted to have the opportunity because many of them do not have the transportation to get over here surprisingly a nice fair amount of persons showed up. They went through the same protocols we have here,” Porter said.
Church leaders told FOX13 with the spike of COVID-19 they continue to monitor updates from the CDC and state to make decisions.
Porter said the idea is not to rush people back in the sanctuaries rather let them know that there are options.
“If they feel like it’s not a good thing for them, stay at home, be safe, watch online. People have been doing that in a very creative way,” Porter said.
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