Local Churches Respond to Pandemic

Posted on December 11, 2020

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While every Christian church claims to serve the god of the Bible, their god seems to be sowing confusion, disease, and death among his followers. Some churches stopped in-person services last March and take every precaution. In some denominations, church leaders who refused to follow pandemic protocols have realized that they have endangered others and are now changing their approach, creating great confusion and conflict. Some denominations have refused to protect human life by following pandemic protocols since the beginning, and are even digging in, in spite of the fact that our nation is facing the greatest mass death event in our history from COVID-19.

In the LDS church, an apostle caused an uproar when he claimed that following pandemic protocols is Christlike: “The Savior taught that the second great commandment, after loving God, was ‘thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself’ (Matthew 22:39). As it relates to this pandemic, especially in temples, that means social distancing, wearing a mask, and not gathering in large groups. These steps demonstrate our love for others and provide us a measure of protection. Wearing a face covering is a sign of Christlike love for our brothers and sisters.” Some congregants are not having it!

I got curious about the responses of local churches, and spent some time finding out how some of them are responding. The list is not exhaustive; I’m sure I missed some, and if local readers have information on churches I missed or updates on any churches, I’ll be happy to update the list. I checked websites and Facebook pages to see how churches are responding. I found it disheartening that many don’t even mention the pandemic on their homepage. I could not find info on many churches, but I didn’t bother to call when they didn’t have an online presence. Here’s what I found.

ChurchResponse 
Vigorous Response to Insure Safety
NewLife Church1357 S Main St(517) 917-0415NO ONSITE GATHERINGS AT THIS TIME
First United Methodist1245 W Maple Ave(517) 265-5689As of November 19, 2020, in-person worship services have been canceled until further notice
First Presbyterian Church156 E. Maumee St. (517) 265-2168In-person suspended after Thanksgiving; reassess @ 12/2 meeting; otherwise unclear
Crossroads Community Church 119 N Broad St(517) 266-1919Remote Services
Crossroads Community Church 119 N Broad St(517) 266-1919Remote Services
Raisin Valley Friends Church3552 N Adrian Hwy(517) 265-5050No COVID info on website; On FB it looks like remote services
B. Less Vigorous Response
Restore World Church; on FB440 E Church St(517) 417-0000In-person Services Pre-Registration required
Masks Required
Distancing Required
Info 
Holy Family Catholic Parish
St. Mary of Good Counsel Catholic Church
305 Division St
517-263-4681
St. Joseph Catholic Church
415 Ormsby 
517-265-8938
In-person Services 
Masks Required
Distancing Required
Faith Baptist Church 
3625 Hunt Rd
517-265-2376
COVID info
In-person services; masks optional 
Adrian First Church of the Nazarene
50 Industrial Dr
(517) 263-1579
Three In-door Services every Sunday 
8:30 AM – This service is mandatory masks with the service primarily for seniors and immune compromised people. 
10:45 AM – Contemporary service and we are asking that you maintain social distancing and respect for personal space.
6:00PM – Evening service is focused for the teens but all are welcome.
JW.org
2239 Baldwin Hwy
(517) 263-8750
No local info on website.“In many areas, we have suspended meetings at our Kingdom Halls”
C. Weak Response
LDS Church
140 Sand Creek Hwy
(517) 263-0882
Website goes to HQ; no local info
Some info on re-opening plans
Recent change in response (see above)
City of Refuge Ministries
301 Tecumseh St
No Phone #
No website for local. On FB
In-person services. Unmasked singing. No distancing. No visible protocols in place. 
Ogden Church
3201 US-223
(517) 265-6621
COVID statementSome infections in group; a break; a return to in-person
Unmasked, in-person services 
Adrian First Church of the Nazarene
50 Industrial Dr
(517) 263-1579
Three In-door Services every Sunday 8:30 AM – This service is mandatory masks with the service primarily for seniors and immune compromised people. 10:45 AM – Contemporary service and we are asking that you maintain social distancing and respect for personal space.
6:00PM – Evening service is focused for the teens but all are welcome.
Bethany Assembly
2045 US-223
(517) 263-2779
No COVID info on websiteUnmasked singing. No distancing. No visible protocols in place. 
Adrian Church of Christ
719 W Maumee 
(517) 263-2912
No COVID info on websiteVideo has many unmasked men coming to a mic, no sanitizing. Unmasked singing.
Faith Baptist Church 
3625 Hunt Rd
517-265-2376
COVID infoIn-person services; masks optional 
Church of God 
704 Baldwin Hwy
(517) 265-7040
No COVID info on websiteIn-person Services
St. Stephen Lutheran 
632 South Madison Street
517.265.5605
No COVID info on websiteIn-person Services
Bethel AME326 E. Butler St.517-265-2924No COVID info on websiteIn-person Services
D. No Clear Info on Response
Salvation Army the Corps and Community Center 
217 W. Church
517-265-2038
No COVID info on website
Raisin Center Friends 
1975 N. Raisin Center Hwy
517-423-7023
No COVID info on website
West Adrian United Church of Christ  
4545 Wolf Creek Hwy
517-263-1258
No website
Adrian Church of Christ
719 W Maumee 
(517) 263-2912
No COVID info on website
Video of service shows many unmasked men coming to a mic, no sanitizing. Unmasked singing.
St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church 
326 S. McKenzie St.
517-265-1921
No website
On FB, not tended since March
First Christian Church
2667 Bent Oak Ave
(517) 265-6852
Uncertain
No info on website

This isn’t the first time that churches in the USA have been faced with having to respond to a pandemic. This article provides a look into church responses during the 1918 Flu outbreak. Masks were not the only issue: some churches were closed and re-purposed to serve the community:

“’A very unusual opportunity has come to Calvary Church,’ the clergy of the Episcopal congregation in Shadyside wrote to its members. ‘To meet the present emergency of our pandemic-stricken community, the Vestry (governing board) has tendered the use of the Parish House to the United States Military authorities. The rooms will be used as a convalescent hospital’ for military trainees recovering from influenza.”

Public health should be every American’s number one priority right now. All church leaders need to step up and do the right thing, follow the protocols, and save as many folks as possible from the suffering and possible death that COVID-19 can bring. I pray they do.


lisa eddy is a writer-for-hire, researcher, educator-for-hire, youth advocate,  musician, and gardener.

On Twitter: @lisa_eddy

On email: lisagay.eddy1@gmail.com