Local pastors adjusting to church services during pandemic

Church services held during pandemic
Posted at 11:52 PM, Apr 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-05 23:52:26-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — For some, the coronavirus is creating questions of faith - specifically, is there a right way to worship in these days of social distancing?

Fox 4 spoke to two local pastors who’ve taken different approaches to the new rules.

On Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis made it clear that decisions regarding religion and the response to COVID-19 are left to individual churches.

“I don’t think the government has the authority to close a church, I am certainly not going to do that,” said Governor DeSantis.

Amid CDC recommendations, Pastor Williams of The Rock Church in Fort Myers hosted several services today both streaming online and in-person where attendance can be upwards to 300 people.

They say they have been taking steps to ensure the safety of each individual.

“We have interval cleaning every 10-15 minutes of high contact point areas. We are no longer passing the plates to receive peoples tithing and offering, in addition to what we have already been doing seating families six feet apart,” said Rev. Randell L. Williams.

The church’s attendance has reduced within the last few weeks.

“Definitely a small decline there is a segment of people who fall into categories of potential risk,” said Rev. Randell L. Williams.

Many people are turning to religion in times of uncertainty.

“The church becomes that spiritual hospital if you will, ” said Rev. Randell L. Williams.

Cape Christian in Cape Coral has decided to host each of its services strictly online.

“Even though we can “gather” we felt that for the safety and well-being of our people we were going to do everything we could to keep our people safe,” said the lead pastor at Cape Christian, Cory Demmel.

Incorporating things like how-to-videos for the elderly, and virtual learning activities for children.

“We have also been trying to be really creative and innovative in how can we continue to get in front of our people, take care of our people, and be there for them, ” said Cory Demmel.

Pastor Demmel says while times are certainly unprecedented we all have to adapt and adjust.

“There has been this debate about where is your faith, I just had to remind our people this week that faith and wisdom can coexist,” said Cory Demmel.