Local church leader says virtual services will continue for now

JACKSON, Tenn.–“The church will have new policies and procedures,” said Historic First Baptist Church Pastor William Watson.

Screen Shot 2020 05 13 At 6.40.27 Pm“And new seating arrangements, if they reopen,” said Pastor Watson.

Pastor William Watson of Historic First Baptist church, said without a COVID-19 vaccine, virtual services will have to continue.

“Having said that, I don’t think it’s again, responsible of me as pastor, as shepard to share with the members that I serve that trust my voice, that trust my leadership under God’s umbrella to say, ‘hey, come into this place,” said Pastor Watson.

Watson said the demographic of his congregation puts a bigger emphasis on his decision to keep the church closed.

“It is suggested that those with pre-existing conditions are highly vulnerable,” said Pastor Watson.

“We are as African Americans, are disproportionately affected, so I am not going to lead the people that I serve into a place that I know, where infection can occur,” said Pastor Watson.

Screen Shot 2020 05 13 At 6.40.51 PmIn the future, he eventually plans to open the church, but continues to make changes.

“We’re a very highly affectionate body of people, we hug, we shake hands, we high five, we turn to our neighbors, and so again, you can’t do any of that,” said Pastor Watson.

“Social distancing will be a part of our practice when we come back temporarily, it will be a part of our practice going forward,” said Pastor Watson.

Watson is possibly considering reopening around July.

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