Nicholasville Church wins federal ruling, reopens for in-person service Sunday


NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – A judge ruled in favor of Tabernacle Baptist Church Friday night, allowing in-person services Sunday morning.

Something preacher and parishioners alike were excited about.

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“It’s like being back together with your family,” Peggy Carpenter said about being back at church.

The reunion made possible for churches across the state because Tabernacle Baptist took the issue to court, arguing it was unconstitutional for Governor Andy Beshear to limit mass gatherings, which included in-person services for houses of worship.

Governor Beshear says as a man of faith himself, he didn’t do out of spite against religion, but rather for the greater good, to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“And I hope that the actions of trying to speed this up by two weeks doesn’t result in more people being lost,” Governor Beshear said at his Saturday update.

In effort to do its part, the church spread out seating, offered masks, and had several hand sanitizer stations.

While most people who came to church Sunday morning did wear masks, Carpenter was one of the few who chose not to.

“Wearing a mask can cause you to touch your face more. And for me that is true, because if I have something on my face I’m gonna want to touch it. You know, and I just don’t believe that you should have to wear a mask if you don’t choose to,” Carpenter said.

However, at the beginning of the service, one of the church leaders read a statement saying the church hopes everyone will follow CDC guidelines, including wearing a mask.

“In all things, we will air on the side of caution to ensure transmission of the illness is not facilitated by the service,” he said before the congregation.

The service was still live streamed on the church’s Facebook page.

For Carpenter she feels Tabernacle Baptist is smaller than a grocery store, so it feels just as safe, if not safer.

“If you can go to Walmart, you can go to Kroger or anywhere else. You should feel safe enough to go to church also,” she said.

The senior pastor, Lonnie Moore, at the church said he’d prefer not to comment on the reopening at this time.


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Monica Harkins joined the ABC 36 News team in June 2019 as a Multimedia journalist and Anchor/Producer. She’s born and raised in Austin, Texas and headed “North,” as she calls it, to study broadcast journalism and business at the University of Missouri. While at Mizzou she anchored and reported for KOMU 8 News, an NBC affiliate in Columbia, Missouri all four years. During her childhood she played almost every sport, but they always called her “Hollywood” for her love of theatre. In high school, she realized her excitement for theatre and performing was only a small piece of the puzzle. It’s story telling that’s her passion. She’s especially passionate about social media and creative platforms to tell stories. Her most recent experiment is being a FAA certified drone pilot. As a proud Texan she says she’s made of country music, Southern hospitality and Sweet Tea. When she’s not at work you can find her trying new recipes, listening to crime podcasts, reading the latest romance novel or rockin’ out to live music with friends. She says she’s only a tweet or Facebook message away, so say hi and send her the latest on your community. @MonicaHarkinstv or