Most Kentucky churches abandon in-person worship on Easter

LOUISVILLE, Ky.
(AP) — Most Kentucky churches did not hold in-person Easter services,
heeding warnings against such gatherings in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Many celebrated the holiday Sunday at home with sermons and masses delivered online, the Courier Journal reported.

But Kentucky State Police recorded license plate information on about 50 cars parked outside Maryville Baptist Church in Bullitt County so they could be ordered to self-quarantine for 14 days, news outlets reported.

Before
the service, the church’s pastor, the Rev. Jack Roberts, cleaned up
nails that had been left at the entrances. He had covered his license
plates.

At On Fire Christian Church in Louisville, a drive-in service was held after a federal judge barred the city
from trying to prevent the drive-in service. On Friday, the church sued
Mayor Greg Fischer, who said he was only “strongly suggesting” that
churches not hold in-person or drive-in services.

Harlan
County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley said several of the 11 churches that
had had been holding in-person services in the eastern Kentucky area
changed to drive-up services.

“You
are putting your members in harm’s way unlike the hundreds of churches
in our county that are doing it the right way and having virtual or
drive-up services,” Mosley wrote on Facebook a day earlier.

Kentucky
State Police officers had “met with several of those pastors this
morning. A few have decided to proceed with drive-up services instead
since the post last night. They’re still making contact with some of the
others,” he said Sunday.

Troopers
responded to dozens of complaints about church services Sunday, state
police Sgt. Josh Lawson said. Other than Maryville, none were in-person.
The rest were outdoor services and people were staying in cars.

In Kentucky, 97 people have died from the virus, and 1,963 have tested positive, Gov. Andy Beshear said Sunday.

Most
people who contract COVID-19 have mild or moderate symptoms, which can
include fever and cough but also milder cases of pneumonia, sometimes
requiring hospitalization. The risk of death is greater for older adults
and people with other health problems.

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Source: Mountain Top