Churches across Kentucky struggle to have in-person services with Delta Variant

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Churches aren’t immune from the Covid dilemma.

Based on the current surges across the state, some are deciding if whether to require masks while others are going further, debating whether to have in-person services.

Some have opted to continue practicing a hybrid schedule of some in-person and online services.

Right now, Scott Ford, the lead pastor of First Christian Church in Lexington, says they just opened back up in mid-summer with mask requirements at first. Ford says there’s still about 20% – 30% of the congregation worshiping from home, an option he says he would offer even if that percentage was lower.

“I think it’s the church’s job to love people one at a time…Whatever it takes…So I would provide an online option even if it was just one person for sure,” says Ford.

Other congregations like First Baptist Church in Corbin note Covid numbers have gotten so bad in Whitley County that they just shut down this past weekend. This is after reopening in June with safe spacing.

“We pretty much opened completely but always kept a section for social distancing and masking so that if any person wanted to continue to practice those things there was a whole section sort of removed from everyone else that kept them safe,” says Alex Lockridge with the congregation.

First Baptist Church in Winchester hasn’t re-opened at all.

“One of the reasons why we have not reopened is because we felt like we were in for another spike because of the hesitancy with people taking the vaccine,” explains Marvin King.

While these churches all have different approaches, they are on the same page about doing whatever it takes to help their communities keep the faith.

“In crisis situations when you keep engagement you can keep people connected,” says King.

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