Republican state senators have said that Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order regarding church services is unconstitutional, and some folks are taking that statement to heart.
Lighthouse Baptist Church in Eden starting holding services in the church last Sunday, May 10 and plans to hold services again Sunday, May 17.
Lighthouse Baptist Church Pastor Scott Adamsons said that he was encouraged by the recent state court decision in Wisconsin and the federal court decision in Kentucky. In both instances judges ruled that prohibiting people from gathering in a church for services was a violation of their First Amendment rights.
He said that it confirmed his opinion that allowing retail establishments to open as long as they practice social distancing but not allowing churches to hold services indoors was unconstitutional.
Adamsons said that they were practicing social distancing, that every other pew had been blocked off and there were signs saying that it was acceptable for two households to sit in the same pew as long as there was six feet between them.
Adamsons said they cleaned everything and propped the front door open so nobody had to touch it. He said they did not pass the plate for a collection but simply put a plate at the back of church for people if they chose to donate.
He said that from reading about other countries such as Sweden, and the information now available about COVID-19, that “social distancing is the limiting factor for spread of the infection.”
Adamsons said that when he decided to hold the service last week, “I was fully prepared to go jail if I had to.” But he said he has not heard from any government officials since the decision was made to hold indoor services.
Three sheriffs in North Carolina have publicly announced that no one will be arrested in their counties for going to church, and the list is growing.
Adamsons said that about half the congregation showed up for services on May 7 and they had room for plenty more this Sunday. He said that if too many people showed up for the service, so that they could not practice the recommended social distancing, that they would simply ask people to wait outside.
If you would like to worship inside a church on Sunday, May 17, Lighthouse Baptist Church is at 8460 NC 14 in Eden and the Sunday service begins at 10:30 a.m.
Pastor Adamsons said, “Come on down.”