LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While Governor Andy Beshear called on faith leaders to cancel weekend services in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, some churches are taking a different approach.
"We are not going to cancel services," lead pastor at Highview Baptist Church, Aaron Harvie said. “We are listening to the Governor's caution, but we feel like he has overreached.”
There are three Highview Baptist Church campuses in Louisville. About 1500 people attend the service at the Fegenbush campus every Sunday.
"In Romans 13 it calls upon us to respect our government authorities, but also to realize that our Lord Jesus has set out clearly in Hebrews 10 that we're called upon to congregate with one another," Harvie said.
Louisville faith leaders are planning to meet on Friday to determine how they will move forward following Beshear's recommendations.
"I think at this point we should do everything to protect the high-risk population," President of Muslim Americans for Compassion, Dr. Muhammad Babar said.
Louisville Muslim faith leaders are still discussing the next steps, but Babar is advising them to postpone Friday prayers.
"The elderly are at much higher risk to have severe symptoms," Babar said.
Babar said adults over 60-years-old make up the majority of the congregation.
There are about a dozen mosques in Louisville and about 100 members show up to each on Fridays.
"As a physician, I honestly believe that it's better to be safe than sorry – there is a lot of unknown out there," Babar said.
In a statement, the archdiocese of Louisville said services will not be canceled for Catholic congregations. Parishes were advised to "suspend distribution of Holy Communion to the faithful through the chalice."
Southeast Christian Church will be holding its regular scheduled weekend worship services at all of its campuses, except for its Chapel In The Woods Campus which serves 60+-year-old members and attendees.
The Temple - Congregation Adath Israel Brith Sholom on Brownsboro Road will not cancel services this weekend, but will have a Livestream available for the first time for those who stay home. The faith leaders plan to postpone upcoming large events.