Worried about COVID-19, 61 Michigan pastors suspend in-person services

Many Grand Rapids, Mich., churches will suspend in-person services until Dec. 8. 2020 (Nikko Tan)

Some 61 pastors with the Kent County COVID-19 Church Task Force in Grand Rapids, Michigan, have agreed to hold only online services and suspend other large gatherings such as weddings as a surge in new coronavirus cases hits the state.

“Our goal is to stand with our front-line medical workers and public health officials,” Rev. Joe Jones, Grand Rapids 2nd Ward City Commissioner said in a statement Tuesday. “We need to do this for the brave men and women who provide life-saving health care, and we need to do this to ensure there is adequate hospital capacity to serve anyone who needs care for cancer, a heart attack, or any number of medical crises. This pandemic is having a devastating impact on our beloved community and the virus does not discriminate. It’s affecting all, regardless of zip code, race, socioeconomic status or age.”

Beginning Nov. 18 until Dec. 8, church leaders will limit meetings to no more than five individuals.

In the past seven days, Michigan has reported 48,757 new coronavirus cases, an average of 6,965 cases a day mlive reported. The Grand Rapids area is among the state’s hot spots.

The task force noted “catastrophic capacity shortages in hospitals and health systems across the state” in their statement announcing the suspension of large gatherings.

“Pastors have been moved by the pleas of front-line healthcare workers, as well as the ongoing suffering and loss of life of Kent County residents as a result of this virus,” Rev. Khary Bridgewater of Urban Life Church Leadership Center.

“Our physicians and nurses are risking their lives, working double shifts, suffering through physical, mental, and emotional hardship to care for patients. We want to give them a fighting chance,” he explained.

The full list of Grand Rapids area churches suspending in person services is below:

  1. Rev. Nathaniel Moody (Co-chair Kent County COVID-19 Church Task Force) – Brown Hutcherson Ministries
  2. Rev. Miguel A. Toro (Co-chair Kent County COVID-19 Church Task Force) – Iglesia de Cristo Misionera
  3. Rev. Jeff Manion (Co-chair Kent County COVID-19 Church Task Force) – Ada Bible Church
  4. Rev. Miguel Abreu – Iglesia de Cristo Misionera
  5. Rev. Carlos Aranguiz – Iglesia Belem Grand Rapids
  6. Rev. Joy Bonnema – Madison Square Church (North Campus)
  7. Rev. Perfecto Brown – The New Breed Church
  8. Rev. Suzan Brown – The New Breed Church
  9. Rev. Dr. Ron Carter – King’s Bible Church
  10. Rev. Kevin Crisostomo – Iglesia Cristo Misionera
  11. Rev. Robert Dean – New Life COGIC
  12. Rev. Darrell Delaney – Madison Square Church (Square Campus)
  13. Rev. Dr. Howard C. Earle, Jr. – New Hope Baptist Church
  14. Rev. Troy A. Evans – The EDGE Urban Fellowship
  15. Rev. Juan F. Flores – Belen Casa del Pan
  16. Rev. Dr. Eula C. Gaddis, Jr. – Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church
  17. Rev. Dr. Willie A. Gholston II – First Community AME Church
  18. Rev. Adam Green – New Dimensions Victory Center Church of God in Christ
  19. Rev. Dwight Gutridge – St. Luke AME Zion
  20. Rev. Julian Guzman – Iglesia Vida Plena
  21. Rev. Dr. Timothy Mark Harris – Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church
  22. Rev. Severino Hernandez – Iglesia Fuente de Vida
  23. Rev. Dr. Kenneth W. Hoskins – Alpha Omega Ministries COGIC
  24. Rev. Michelle Jackson – Church Builders Bible Training Center
  25. Rev. Jay Jones – The Pentecostals of Kentwood
  26. Rev. Joe Jones – Brown Hutcherson Ministries
  27. Rev. Dr. Kizombo L. Kalumbula, Jr. – Tabernacle Community Church
  28. Rev. Brad Knetsch – Madison Square Church (Franklin Campus)
  29. Rev. Dallas Lenear – Journey Church Grand Rapids
  30. Rev. Thea Leunk – Eastern Avenue Christian Reformed Church
  31. Rev. Nygil B. Likely – Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
  32. Rev. Artie M. Lindsay, Sr. – Tabernacle Community Church
  33. Rev. Marcus Little – Berean Baptist Church
  34. Rev. Ernestine Lockett – Bread of the World Church
  35. Rev. Deborah McCreary – Eastminster Presbyterian Church
  36. Rev. Sandra McGlothin – Women of Faith Ministries
  37. Bishop Dennis McMurray – Renaissance Church of God in Christ
  38. Rev. Jorge Morales – Iglesia Casa de Oración
  39. Rev. John Mondi – African Community Fellowship
  40. Rev. Daniel Oglesby – Living Word Christian Center
  41. Rev. Carl A. Pace, Jr. – True Light Baptist Church
  42. Rev. Daniel Parker – Kingdom Life Ministries
  43. Rev. M. Wayne Peters – 4 Fires Ministries
  44. Rev. J.R. Pittman – Ignite Fellowship Church
  45. Rev. Anna Radcliffe – City Chapel Grand Rapids
  46. Rev. Ron Radcliffe – City Chapel Grand Rapids
  47. Rev. David Reynoso – Iglesia Sanando las Naciones
  48. Rev. Isaura Rivas – Mt. Zion Hispanic Seventh-day Adventist Church
  49. Rev. José Luis Rivas – Iglesia Cada de mi Padre
  50. Rev. Jose Riveron – Iglesia Bautista Reconciliacíon
  51. Rev. Leatha Roberts – Changing Point Church
  52. Rev. Robert Roberts – Changing Point Church
  53. Rev. Charlie Selmon, Jr. – Wellspring Church of Grand Rapids
  54. Rev. Raycheen Sims – Dream Builders International Church
  55. Rev. Robert Sims – Dream Builders International Church
  56. Rev. Dr. James C. Stokes – New Life Tabernacle COGIC
  57. Rev. Leroy Tolbert – Macedonia Baptist Church
  58. Rev. Robert Trice – Relevant Church Grand Rapids
  59. Rev. Willie E. Waver II – No Greater Love Ministries
  60. Rev. Theda Fields White – Pinnacle Crest Ministries
  61. Rev. Tim Wilson – South Harbor Church
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