***Editor’s Note: If your church is in Trussville, Clay, Pinson, Center Point, Argo, Springville, Leeds or Moody and is canceling or making changes to services, please email your name, position in your church and church name, with dates of cancellations to firstname.lastname@example.org
From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
BIRMINGHAM — The Jefferson County Health Department said there is a chance an order could be issued, giving legal authority to the health department, if people do not comply with the recommendation to cancel events with more than 500 people. The order would mean legal ramifications for organizers of all events, including church services.
The recommendation comes as fears of the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continue to concern officials.
Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson said there are options for churches. He suggested online services for churches. Wilson also said churches can encourage some members, who are at high-risk for severe symptoms, stay home.
“We have some very large churches in Jefferson County and some of those churches have canceled services, which I think is actually a good thing that they did that,” Wilson said. “But, we were not necessarily saying that churches had to cancel; we do want churches to limit their services to 500 people or less.”
The Episcopal bishop for Alabama, Rt. Rev. Kee Sloan, has told all the denomination’s churches to cancel their usual services, meetings and even postpone funerals for the rest of March. The church has about 32,000 members and nearly 90 parishes in the state.
“I hate to do this. The gathering of God’s people in worship is such a huge part of who we are and what we do. But I think that this is the best way to serve our congregations and the communities in which we live,” said a statement Sloan released Friday.
A large church with nearly two dozen campuses all over the state, Church of the Highlands, said it planned to continue with usual worship services but was in contact with government officials.
“Of course, use wisdom as you plan your weekend and the days ahead. If you’re feeling sick in any way, stay home, and join us online,” the lead pastor, Chris Hodges, said in a message to members on Instagram.
Churches that have canceled services are listed below. This article will be updated as more churches make announcements.
Argo Christian Fellowship has canceled all youth and children’s activities from Sunday, March 15 through Sunday, April 5. Sunday worship will continue at 9 a.m. and 10:15 a.m.
Ashville Road Church of Christ in Leeds will make changes to services. Until further notice, gatherings will be limited to one service per week, Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. All Bible classes, Sunday and Wednesday evening services and other activities are postponed. There will be a live-streamed Wednesday 7 p.m. service available by clicking here.
Cahaba Springs Presbyterian has suspended on campus Sunday School and worship for March 15 and March 22. Worship will be streamed live each Sunday at 11 on the church’s Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/
Cathedral Church of the Advent will cease public gatherings from March 15 through March 29. Sunday services will be streamed online. The services can be viewed by clicking here.
Clearbranch United Methodist Church will have online services only on Sunday, March 15. The service can be viewed by clicking here.
CrossPoint Church will have online services only on Sunday, March 15 and on Wednesday, March 18. A Facebook live stream of the worship service can be viewed by clicking here.
Deerfoot Church of Christ will continue to meet for regular worship services at 8:15 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. However, Sunday morning Bible class, Sunday evening service, Wednesday evening service & study, and all other assemblies and activities (such as CIA, Impact Groups, & Connection Teams) are temporarily suspended for the next two weeks. The church is working on the logistics for providing remote/broadcast devos for Sunday & Wednesday evenings. The Belize mission is still proceeding as scheduled, as is the Bridal Tea scheduled for March 22.
Faith Community Fellowship will limit the Trussville campus’ congregation in the main sanctuary to 500. There will be a room available in another part of the church for overflow. A live stream can be viewed by clicking here.
First Baptist Church Trussville will continue services at 9:15 a.m. and at 10:45 a.m. The church will offer multiple venues on campus for those services. FBC Trussville is encouraging members who are not feeling well to stay home and watch the service online. The services can be viewed by clicking here.
Heritage Place Church of Christ will meet at 10 a.m. Sunday, March 15, for worship, but there will be no Bible classes. Following the March 15 service, all services are canceled. Beginning Sunday, March 22, worship services will be streamed online. You can watch by clicking here for the church’s Facebook page and on the app. Pre-packaged communion kits will be available for pick-up at the church on Saturday, March 21. The exact time for pick-up is to be announced.
Trussville First UMC will hold services online on Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, March 22. There will be an 8:30 and an 11 a.m. service live on Facebook. The services can be viewed by clicking here. The church is asking Sunday Schools to meet via email or online.