Alabama Baptist Leader Advises Churches to Not Even Do Drive-Up Worship Services

- — After hearing about some churches having Sunday services in their parking lots with families staying in cars, one prominent Southern Baptist leader consulted with the Alabama Department of Public Health and came back with a recommendation for churches.

Don’t do it.

“They’re not supposed to be meeting if there’s more than 10 of them, even in the parking lot,” said the Rev. Joe Godfrey, former president of the Alabama Baptist Convention and currently executive director of the Alabama Citizens Action Program.

Under Gov. Kay Ivey’s stay-at-home order that goes into effect Saturday at 5 p.m., attending religious services is allowed if it’s fewer than 10 people who can maintain a distance of six feet apart. Drive in worship services are allowed as long as people stay in their vehicles and only people who live together are allowed in the same car. Participants can not come within 6 feet of participants in other vehicles.

Staying home is safer, Godfrey said.

For the more than one million Baptists in Alabama, the largest denomination in the state, Godfrey recommends sharing video sermons through social media, online streaming through a church web site or using Facebook Live to share a service during the social distancing directives aimed at curbing the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

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