Gov. Lee Says Churches Are ‘Risking People’s Lives’ By Continuing to Hold Services


Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee said during a Friday press conference that churches that continue to hold services are putting people’s lives at risk.

“Churches that continue to meet and gather with elderly and putting groups of people in the same setting, quite frankly, they’re risking people’s lives,” Lee said during an update on the COVID-19 outbreak in Tennessee. “There are ways to worship and there are ways to serve without congregating people, and I’m urging and challenging churches to do just that.”

Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s office announced Friday that the city’s chief medical director will soon issue a public health advisory for churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples. The advisory will urge “all faith organizations to refrain from physically meeting to adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines,” according to a press release.

Cooper met with faith leaders Friday afternoon to discuss the advisory and organize “a weekend of prayer across Nashville’s faith communities.”

During a conference call with mayors across the state earlier this week, Gov. Lee urged local leaders to pray for Tennesseans during the pandemic, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

“Lastly, I encourage you to pray. I want you to pray for your citizens that are affected by economic downturns, by the sickness sweeping through the state,” he said. “I want you to know that you’re being prayed for as leaders in your community that you will have wisdom and discernment.”

Several faith organizations across the state have suspended their services for the time being and moved to hosting events online.

As of Friday afternoon, Tennessee had tested 613 individuals and received 228 positive results for the coronavirus. Almost half of the cases are in Davidson County, which had 101 confirmed cases as of Friday.

Additionally, the 21-30 age range has the highest number of confirmed cases with 72 positives, followed by the 31-40 age range at 47 positive cases.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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4 Thoughts to “Gov. Lee Says Churches Are ‘Risking People’s Lives’ By Continuing to Hold Services”

  1. Carole I Parsons

    You can worship God in many ways and it does not have to be in a church, And if or when they get infected do not say it was the will of God. God gave people free will and a brain. Use it. And I feel they put themselves in a position to contaminate or get sick, you are on your own say a prayer.

  2. Ron Welch

    Jesus said, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them.”
    –Matthew 18:20

  3. 83ragtop50

    Nice of the governor to express his opinion but it should be the people should be allowed to make their own decision about attending. The government is slowly but surely destroying the principle of liberty and freedom.

    1. Ron Welch

      Yep, 83ragtop50, ….where the Spirit of the LORD is, there is Liberty. –II Corinthians 3:17

      Stand fast therefore in the Liberty with which Vhrist has made us free, and do not become entangled again in the yoke of bondage.” –Galatians 5:1