Local church enhances precautions as in-person services return
JACKSON, Tenn. — Pastors across the country are having to make tough decisions about in-person worship sessions.
“The pressure of ‘do we call it?’ ‘Do we encourage people to stay home?’ That was a terrible weekend,” said Adam Dooley, Senior Pastor at Englewood Baptist Church.
Ultimately, Pastor Dooley did make the decision to not have in-person service at Englewood Baptist Church, and it stayed that way for 12 weeks.
“It was just as hard to bring them back,” Pastor Dooley said.
And they’ve been back having in-person worship since May 31.
Dooley says they’ve learned a little more each week, and they’re taking precautions to keep everyone safe.
One of those precautions Englewood is taking is making sure as you enter the worship center, you’re seated by a greeter, that way everyone stays six feet apart. And once worship is over, and you’ve stayed six feet apart the whole time, they’re having everyone dismiss by sections to make sure no one lingers.
“Between the services we clean every pew, we clean all of the restrooms, and just make sure everything is ready to go for the next service we have,” Pastor Dooley said.
Since they’ve returned to in-person service, Dooley says only about 1/3 of their members have come back. The rest are still watching online.
“Our hope is when fall rolls around, schools start back, our hope is that crowds will grow, and get close to what we’re accustomed to,” Dooley said.
Dooley wants to reassure everyone that the church is doing everything they can to have the safest worship experience possible.
Englewood was also having members make reservations so they would know how many people to expect, but they are no longer requiring that for anyone attending.