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'It's Very Essential': Churchgoers Across the Country Begin Attending In-Person Worship Services Over Memorial Weekend

05-25-2020
Sonia Falk prays during a Memorial Day service at Lakewood Chapel Church in Arlington Heights, Ill., Sunday, May 24, 2020 (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Sonia Falk prays during a Memorial Day service at Lakewood Chapel Church in Arlington Heights, Ill., Sunday, May 24, 2020 (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The Memorial Day weekend saw many churches reopening for the first time in months.

Congregations like Atlantic Shores Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, VA, were happy to worship together in person.

Reservations online helped manage capacity and Pastor Ron Jones says he's thankful for this next step.
  
"It was fabulous - picture them as smiling. Hebrews does tell us, it's a supplement to human-to-human contact," he said. 

George Ortega arrived at Church Unlimited in Indio, CA, for an in-person church service. Like many other churchgoers, he believes churches should be considered essential.

"For me, it's very essential. We need this," Ortega said. "Since we stopped this we haven't been the same and we just want to say thank you, Father God, for allowing churches to reopen today. It's very essential. Thank you President Trump for acknowledging this and praise God."

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"We're doing our best to follow what the government has asked us to do," said Tad Wychopen II, assistant pastor at Faith Baptist Church in Palmhurst, Texas. 

"But we also want to be able to try and have services so this is probably how it's going to be looking for at least a few weeks."

On Friday, President Trump called on all the nation's governor's to allow churches to re-open for in-person worship, but many states are still restricting church services.

The president said worship is essential and churches should be treated the same as other essential organizations and threatened to override governors who don't do as he says.

But some churches say they will hold off on opening for now.

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