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Local pastors navigate faith and science amid COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 6:54 PM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-21 19:54:54-05

When it comes to faith and science, local pastors have had to walk a fine line throughout the pandemic. Church leaders sat down with TMJ4 News to share how they've been adapting.

Pastor Kurt Wwens helped launch U-Flourish Church in September of 2021.

“I think one of the things for us is understanding what it looks like to walk the middle isle,” Owens said.

To Owens, this meant finding a way to lead a congregation in the safest way possible. While he chose to get vaccinated, he didn't want to alienate those who were hesitant.

“There's been some family members that I've lost and there have been some members of this church that we've lost due to COVID, so we had one group of people with some legitimate fears of COVID and we have some other people who are concerned about their rights and so we have to try to find a perfect balance,” Owens said.

Across town at Christ The King Baptist Church, lead pastor John McVicker opened church doors to be a vaccine site for the community.

“We were contracting a majority of cases disproportionately to the number of Black people that were in the country. So, I just felt it was important for us to kinda get in the front and be a part of it,” McVicker said.

He says having the sight near the sanctuary was intentional to help the community know this was a safe space to get the vaccine.

“I'm certain that there are members within the congregation who have differences in opinions about whether to be vaccinated or not,” McVicker said.

According to PEW Research, seven percent of churchgoers say they won't ever go back to church, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're not attending.

"Historically most had an in-person church with a virtual option and now I'm afraid it's going to be a virtual church with an in-person option," McVicker said.

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