President Issues Call for Churches to Reopen
(May 22, 2020)
CLEVELAND, TN: During an afternoon press conference, President Donald J. Trump designated all houses of worship as “essential places that provide essential services” and called on churches to be opened across the country, regardless of previous restrictive orders issued by the states.
Declaring “America needs more prayer and not less prayer,” Trump directed all governors to allow churches to meet, and if the governors refused to do so, he promised to take executive action to override them. He called on governors to take action immediately, encouraging churches to be allowed to open as soon as this weekend.
Later in the day, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidelines for faith-based organizations, specifically churches. Initial guidelines were proposed several weeks ago by the CDC, but were sent back for additional refinement after the White House determined that they were too restrictive. The new CDC guidelines for churches are hopefully more workable for houses of worship.
After being informed of the President’s decision, Dr. Timothy M. Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God, stated, “I commend the President on making a bold statement about churches being essential to the makeup of our country. It is time that our national leaders realize how important the church body is to every local community. If anything is essential, our churches are.”
Hill serves on the President’s Interfaith Advisory Council. When advising the Council today of his plans, Trump stated, “You’re back in business. Go get ‘em.”
Although the President has called for churches to reopen and the CDC has issued guidelines to help in that process, every local church must take actions to prepare its congregation and the church property for a safe return to the church facilities. Every precaution should be taken to assure the safety of those who attend services.